House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Concerning physical education instructional requirements for public school students.
Sponsors: Representatives Riccelli, Harris, Rossetti, Stambaugh, Bergquist, Walkinshaw, Robinson, Peterson, Jinkins, Farrell, Ortiz-Self, Pike, Goodman, Ormsby and Fey.
Hearing Date: 2/2/16
Staff: Ashley Fisher (786-7296) and Ethan Moreno (786-7386).
Washington PE Standards.
Every public school student in grades one through eight must receive instruction in physical education (PE) as prescribed by rule of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (Superintendent). Students may be excused from PE courses on account of physical disability, religious belief, or participation in directed athletics.
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) developed health and physical education essential academic learning requirements and grade level expectations that describe what students should know and be able to do at every grade level. OSPI-developed state assessment models are designed to help schools and districts determine whether students have met the health and physical education learning standards. The OSPI has developed PE instruction requirements by rule. Public school students in grades one through eight must receive an average of at least 100 PE instructional minutes per week.
National PE Standards.
Federal law does not prescribe minimum standards for physical education in schools; instead, the federal government relies on grant programs administered by the Departments of Education and Transportation to create incentives that promote physical activity in the school setting. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that students engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 50 percent of the time they spend in PE class.
Summary of Bill:
Washington PE Requirements.
Current PE requirements of first through eighth grade students are extended to include kindergarten students. Grades K-12 must receive instruction in physical education (PE) as prescribed by rule of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The provision that allows students who participate in directed athletics to be excused from instruction in PE is removed.
Increased PE minute requirements are phased in for students in grades K-8. For the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years, students must be provided with five days per week or the equivalent of 125 minutes per week of PE instruction. Beginning in 2020-21, five days per week or the equivalent of 150 minutes per week of PE instruction is required.
Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, school districts must submit an annual report to the OSPI that documents compliance with the OSPI-developed PE rules as well as other information such as the number of students excused from PE instruction and the number of teachers with health and fitness endorsements in each district. By December 1, 2017, and annually through December 1, 2021, the Superintendent must provide a summary report of the school district reports to the education committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Compliance with PE Requirements/ Competitive Grant.
The OSPI must develop a competitive grant program for school districts to increase compliance with PE instructional requirements. Grant allocation criteria are established that prioritize districts and schools: (1) that demonstrate challenges in complying with PE instructional requirements; (2) with high percentages of students eligible to participate in the federal free or reduced-price lunch program; (3) that are developing a plan for complying with or significantly improving compliance with PE instructional requirements within two years of receiving a grant allocation; and (4) that are developing related and supportive partnerships with nonprofit organizations or other entities.
The OSPI must provide a summary report of agency and school district actions related to the grant program to the education committees of the Legislature by December 1, 2018, and annually thereafter through December 1, 2021.
Fiscal Note: Requested on January 26, 2015.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.