FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/08/2009
State Rep. Carol Alvarado Amends HB 130 to Include Pre-K Students in Physical Activity Requirements
AUSTIN -- On Friday State Representative Carol Alvarado praised the initial passage of HB 130 by Representative Diane Patrick, which expands the State's ability to provide grants to local school districts in order to offer full day pre-kindergarten classes to eligible students. Alvarado, who was an early supporter of HB 130, successfully amended the bill to incorporate children participating in a full day Pre-K program into the current physical activity requirements.
"If the state is going to take responsibility for a child's mental development earlier in their life, then we must also be willing to take responsibility for their physical well-being. Childhood obesity has skyrocketed over the last twenty years. Over twelve percent of children today are obese; obesity leads to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, social discrimination and a shorter live span. Staying physically active can help curb the rate of childhood obesity, ensuring the next generations of Texans live longer, healthier lives," said Alvarado.
Under the amendment, students enrolled in a full day Pre-K program would participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day. Additionally, the amendment says that districts offering a half-day Pre-K program should make a reasonable attempt to keep students physically active for up to 30 minutes per day, provides that a daily recess is an adequate fulfillment of the requisite.