State Rep. Ron Sandack (R-21st) filed a bill this week that would remove the requirement for daily physical education classes for Illinois students.
HB1330 specifically removes the state mandate and grants local leaders discretion in deciding the level and frequency of physical education classes in their schools.
"It has long been my opinion that decisions regarding education are best left to the local level," Sandack said. "HB1330 allows parents and school boards to control the curriculum as it relates to physical education for their students."
Childhood obesity rates, Sandack noted, have not decreased as a result of daily physical education classes.
"I think a lot of people would have expected the childhood obesity rate to drop once daily P.E. was mandated in our schools," Sandack said. "We just haven’t seen it. The childhood obesity rate is still unacceptably high, and there has been no proof that daily P.E. has changed the trend in Illinois."
Sandack stressed the bill would not eliminate physical education entirely within the curriculum.
"It simply puts the decision-making power for P.E. curriculum matters into the hands of local boards of education," he said.
HB1330 has been assigned to a House committee on elementary and secondary education.