Introduced by Representatives Hosford of Waitsfield, Adams of Hartland, Ancel of Calais, Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, Deen of Westminster, Endres of Milton, Head of S. Burlington, Jerman of Essex, Marek of Newfane, McFaun of Barre Town, McLaughlin of Royalton, Mook of Bennington, Myers of Essex, Nuovo of Middlebury, Orr of Charlotte, Sharpe of Bristol and Sweaney of Windsor
Subject: Education; physical fitness grants; appropriation
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to appropriate $20,000.00 for grants to enable public schools to offer at least one-half hour of structured exercise three times per week in an after-school program.
AN ACT RELATING TO PHYSICAL FITNESS GRANTS FOR AFTER‑SCHOOL PROGRAMS
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. INTENT
(a) The general assembly is concerned that:
(1) physical inactivity and a poor diet together account for at least 300,000 deaths among adults in the United States each year;
(2) 26 percent of Vermont children are currently at risk for being or are overweight even though, in most cases, childhood obesity is preventable;
(3) 35 percent of Vermont students spend three or more hours per school day watching television, playing video games, or using the computer for fun; and
(4) Only 17 percent of Vermont students take physical education classes five days a week, down from 28 percent in 2001.
(b) Therefore, it is the intent of this act to provide physical education programs which help Vermont’s youngsters to develop lifelong habits that can improve aerobic endurance and muscular strength, aid in controlling weight, increase lean muscle and reduce fat, help in building greater bone mass which helps prevent osteoporosis in adulthood, and prevent or reduce high blood pressure.
Sec. 2. PHYSICAL FITNESS GRANTS; APPROPRIATION
(a) The amount of $20,000.00 is appropriated to the commissioner of education for the purpose of awarding 20 $1000.00 grants to public schools which offer or plan to offer an after-school program to elementary school children. The grants shall be used to provide at least one-half hour of structured exercise to each child in the program at least three times a week every week that the school is in session for five days. It is the intent of the general assembly that the exercise shall be designed to be enjoyable and to encourage children to develop lifelong habits of engaging in physical activity.
(b) The state board of education shall adopt rules as necessary to administer the physical fitness grants program. At a minimum, the rules shall describe the criteria for awarding the grants, the application process, and a method for evaluating the activities carried out under the grants.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street