AB 1391_oppose_author (Gomez) 20150330

California Association for Health,
Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
1501 El Camino Avenue - Suite 3, Sacramento, CA 95815-2748
916-922-3596

916-922-0133 (Fax)  www.cahperd.org
CAHPERD OFFICERS 2014-15
CHAD FENWICK
President
[email protected]
HEATHER DECKARD
Past President
BETTY HENNESSY
President-Elect
March 30, 2015
The Honorable Jimmy Gomez
California State Assembly
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Position: Oppose Unless Amended
Location: Assembly Education Committee
JOANIE VERDERBER
Treasurer
ROBIN BALLARD
Parliamentarian
Re: AB 1391 (Gomez) Pupil instruction: adopted course of study for grades 1
to 6: physical education: complaints (As Introduced 2/27/15)
VICE-PRESIDENTS
Dear Assemblymember Gomez:
BRENT POWELL
Health Education
CINDY LEDERER
Physical Education
IAN KEILLER
Recreation
ANNA JARRELL
Dance
MISSY WALTERS
Student Athletics
HOUSE CHAIRS
MAUREEN FERREL
House of Representatives
BETTY HENNESSY
House of Regions
DISTRICT COORDINATORS
KATHY TRONVIG
Bay District
JULIE KUEHL-KITCHEN
North Central District
VACANT
Northern District
KRISTEN OKURA
Southern District
The California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
(CAHPERD) is a non-profit and diverse group whose mission is the “passionate
promotion of active, healthy lifestyles.” Members take a strong stand for quality
programs in Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance, and other
movement-related activities vital to the citizens of California.
The California Association for Health Physical Education Recreation and
Dance opposes AB 1391. The state should strengthen, not weaken, quality
physical education for all public school students. CAHPERD opposes AB 1391
because of the research-based negative impact this bill will have on the
health, well-being, economic costs and academic achievement of California
elementary schools students, particularly black and Hispanic students and low
income students.
The U.S. Surgeon General, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Association for Sport and Physical
Education recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of physical education by accredited
professional instructors every school day for every elementary school student.
In summary:
1. CAHPERD works with school districts to strengthen quality education
including physical education for all public school students.
2. CAHPERD supports physical education to promote health and academics,
INTERIM
and opposes diluting the minutes requirement.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
3. CAHPERD supports access to justice through the courts, and judicial
BARBARA ANN BUCKALEW
discretion to award fees, to ensure physical education for all; CAPHERD
opposes undermining these rights.
VICKIE SHOENHAIR
South Central District
1. CAHPERD works with school districts to strengthen quality education including physical
education for all public school students.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health posts the California Physical Education MAP
(Model Action Plan) and Self-Assessment Checklist. The checklist summarizes state and federal
law, national best practices, and local recommendations on physical education. Designed for school
districts to conduct a comprehensive self-assessment, the checklist can help schools develop an
action plan (MAP) to highlight strengths and address gaps. The tools are publicly available at
http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/cardio/. CAHPHERD supports school districts complying with
physical education requirements by using these tools.
2. CAHPERD supports physical education to promote health and academics, and opposes
diluting the minutes requirement.
Immediately following the Civil War, California proudly became the first state in the union to
mandate elementary physical education for the health of children. In 1919 the California Legislature
established in the Education Code a physical education minute requirement of 200 minutes per ten
school days. These time limits, however, no longer meet current research-based recommendations
regarding the need for DAILY physical education for a minimum of 30 minutes daily for every
elementary school student.
In a 2009 study, THE ECONOMIC COSTS OF OVERWEIGHT, OBESITY, AND PHYSICAL
INACTIVITY AMONG CALIFORNIA ADULTS, conducted by Chenoweth & Associates, Inc.,
for the Center for Public Health Policy, they estimated the cost to California for overweight,
obesity and physical inactivity in 2006, to be $41.2 billion. Of the total costs, $21.0 billion was
attributable to overweight and obesity, and $20.2 billion was attributable to physical inactivity. Half
of the total amount was spent on health care and half came from lost productivity. It was estimated
that if the trend continued, the total costs for the state would increase to $52.7 billion in 2011.
Where do Californians learn the exercise science of movement, acquire basic movement skills and
practice fitness-related exercise activities? Learning to value physical activity, develop the necessary
science, motor skills and movement concepts needed to be a healthy, active and competent mover as
an adult is what occurs each day in physical education classes taught by highly qualified, credentialed
Physical Education teachers.
In contradiction to all international research currently available, AB 1391 would move California
students even farther from the research-based recommendations of daily physical education, while
keeping the average time for physical education far below research-based recommendations from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Under the flexibility of the current Education Code, California elementary school students can be
deprived of physical education for more than a week, but not more than two weeks. If AB 1391
were passed, California elementary students could be deprived of physical education for more than
three weeks in a row! AB 1391 is contra-indicated by all current research relating to the need for
daily physical education for elementary school children, and it simply does not make sense from the
perspective of health and academic performance for elementary school children, particularly our
children most at risk.
Basing their guidelines on current research, national leadership organizations support daily and
weekly physical education for students. The National Association of State Boards of Education
(NASBE) recommends 150 min/week for elementary physical education. The National PTA
supports daily physical education programs as an integral part of children’s education. In
California, according to a 2012 Field Poll, California voters are in nearly unanimous
agreement (97%) that it is important for schools to encourage more physical activity during
each school day!
Physical inactivity is a serious, international pandemic; and this pandemic is particularly serious in
the United States, compared to other countries, and is more serious in California than in many other
states. As childhood obesity rates continue to increase, these children face a greater likelihood of
lifelong health risks alongside significantly higher medical costs both as children and as adults.
According to the 2012 Annual Report of the Physical Activity Council, the more frequently
children aged six to 12 have Physical Education at school, the more likely they are to be active
during their adult years.
Children’s academic performance is positively associated with their physical fitness!
Physical activity at all ages reduces risks of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Participation in a structured physical education program helps build and maintain healthy bones and
muscles, controls weight, builds lean muscle and reduces fat, reduces feelings of depression and
anxiety, and promotes psychological well-being. Physically active and fit kids get better grades
and have better overall health. Physically fit children experience better medical, psychological
and social outcomes than unfit children.
Effective monitoring and school district central office support helps to ensure districts comply with
physical education requirements. Half the school districts audited by the California Department of
Education between 2005 and 2009 did not comply with physical education requirements. In
addition, a recent study revealed that elementary school students in districts that did not comply
with minutes requirements were more likely to be Hispanic or black and less likely to be white or
Asian, while schools in compliant districts included fewer low-income students. This disparity is
further substantiated by California Physical Fitness Test results which demonstrate an immense gap
between the fitness achievement of Hispanic and black elementary school students who, as a group,
achieve far lower fitness scores than white and Asian students.
CAHPERD therefore opposes AB 1391 based on research which indicates this bill would
place all California elementary schools students at greater risk of daily physical inactivity,
and because this bill would have a disproportionate negative impact on black and Hispanic
students and those who are from lower income families – students who are already at greater
risk of the negative health and academic impact of daily inactivity.
3. CAHPERD supports access to justice through the courts, and judicial discretion to award
fees, to ensure physical education for all; CAPHERD opposes undermining these rights.
AB 1391 undermines access to justice through the courts to ensure physical education for all, and
undermines judicial discretion to award attorney fees for successfully enforcing the right to physical
education.
The California Court of Appeal held in 2010 that physical education in elementary schools is a
right, and that parents and students have the right to seek access to justice through the courts if a
school district fails to comply with the minutes requirement. See Doe v Albany School District, 190
Cal.App.4th 668 (2010).
The California Supreme Court has recognized for decades that a court has discretion to award fees
under the private attorney general standard if an attorney successfully seeks access to justice
through the courts to enforce a law in the public interest. The court must determine that the action
resulted in the enforcement of an important right affecting the public interest, such as the right to
physical education; the case confers a significant benefit on the general public or a large class of
persons; and the financial burden of private enforcement makes an award of fees appropriate.
Without the award of attorney fees, private actions to enforce such important public policies will as
a practical matter frequently be infeasible. See, for example, the Supreme Court decision in
Woodland Hills Residents Association, Inc. v. City Council of Los Angeles, (1979) 23 Cal.3d 917.
Judicial discretion to award fees is appropriate to encourage school districts to comply with
physical education requirements. Half the districts audited in California from 2005 to 2009 did not
comply with the minutes requirement in elementary schools, and public records document that the
problem persists today. A peer reviewed journal article and other experience documents that
districts exaggerate compliance. The San Francisco Unified School District master schedules claimed
that 83% of schools complied with physical education requirements. Teachers’ actual schedules
showed 20% met the mandate. In fact, on site observation demonstrated that only 5% were in
compliance.
Districts can avoid paying court-ordered fees by simply complying with the law.
CONCLUSION
CAHPERD would support AB 1391 if only if the bill is amended (1) to provide 30 minutes of
DAILY physical education for every elementary school student, and (2) to preserve full and fair
access to justice through the courts, including judicial discretion to award fees, to ensure physical
education for all. The bill should further provide ongoing monitoring of physical education for
elementary school students and training for administrators and teachers regarding the value and
implementation of quality daily physical education for elementary school students.
Please contact our legislative advocate, Kathryn Lynch, at (916) 443-0202 or
[email protected], with any questions.
Sincerely,
Chad Fenwick
President
Keith Johannes
Legislative Chair
cc:
Ms. Jacque Roberts, Deputy Legislative Secretary, Governor’s Office
Ms. Tanya Lieberman, Consultant, Assembly Education Committee
Mr. Bob Becker, Policy Consultant, Assembly Republican Caucus
Assembly Education Committee
Ms. Kathryn Legislative Advocate
California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance
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