Mission: Readiness Warns of Cutting P.E. ClassesPosted: Updated:
Springfield- Cutting down P.E. classes will hurt national security.
That's according to Mission: Readiness, a bipartisan group that focuses on ensuring youth are military ready. The group spoke out against two bills working their way through the Illinois General Assembly that would cut P.E. requirements at Illinois Schools."Those bills would be detrimental to the long term health of our children to the long term health of our society and to the fitness and readiness in terms of national security." said Major General Bill Enyart, Former Illinois Adjutant General, and member of Mission: Readiness.
One bill SB 13, would cut the P.E. requirement for schools to 3 days a week instead of 5, and allow schools to determine which students are able to receive waivers. Illinois is currently the only state in the country that requires 5 days a week of P.E. for high school students. SB 13 is apart of the Senate's Grand Bargain package. a group of dozen bills aimed at creating a balanced budget. "We applaud bipartisan efforts to end the budget stalemate but that's not a good excuse to roll back physical fitness for kids to roll back our national readiness." said Major General Enyart.
Members of Mission: Readiness say that preventing required physical education course will further prevent youth who are able to serve in the military. "71% of our youth are not fit for military service, the figure is about 30% of that 71% are not physically." said Brigadier General Mark Rabin, a member of Mission: Readiness.
While also causing harm to student's health. "There is a very immediate problem we face with our children when we push back their PE, and the evidence has been extremely well documented as we know our children perform better in school when they are well nourished, when they are well rested at night and when they get plenty of activity during the school day." said Kemia Sarraf, M.d., M.P.H, President of genH Kids, and member of the Illinois Advocacy Committee of American Heart Association.
Supporters of SB 13 say it would remove the red tape that school districts have to go through to get waivers for certain students, while saving money. It is attached to the same bill that would freeze property taxes.
HB 440 would removed the physical education requirement for school districts completely.