The March 30th issue of Education Week (CLICK HERE) describes a new report by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) that was recently presented to Congress. This report was conducted to provide our government leaders with a clearer picture to make childhood-obesity prevention even more of a priority. Findings include:
- The percentage of K-12 schools that offer students regular physical education classes declined over the past decade.
- Only an estimated one-quarter of all U.S. elementary schools offer physical education at least three days a week (or its equivalent), the GAO found.
In addition, GAO employees interviewed officials from four state education agencies, four state high school athletic associations, and 13 schools across California, Illinois, New York, and North Carolina. These visits show:
- Most school officials cited budget cuts and inadequate facilities as major challenges for schools to provide physical education opportunities for students.
- Officials said budget cuts have affected their ability to hire PE teachers, maintain appropriate class sizes, and purchase sufficient equipment.
- Some schools have also seen increased class sizes as a result of budget cuts.