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Recess Is Up For a Vote in Georgia

Susan Notes: It is whacko that there should be a need for recess to be made a law, but we live in whacko times, so three cheers for these Georgia legislators.

House Bill 1013 would require schools to provide students with at least one 15-minute break each day. Legislators should come to Vermont, where kids get half an hour. In sub-zero weather, they take recess indoors, but it is never skipped. Things have come to such a pass that all schools in the city of Atlanta have eliminated the play break. Actually, learning this inspired my book What Happened to Recess and Why Are Our Children Struggling in Kindergarten?

Three cheers for the people who are fighting to Bring Back Recess.

House Bill 1013 has won the support of the American Association for the Childís Right to Play, the Georgia Parents and Teachers Association, the Georgia Association of Educators, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, the American Heart Association, the League of Women Voters of Georgia and the Georgia Association on Young Children. Georgia Reps. Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta), Brooks Coleman (R-Duluth), Jeanette Jamieson (D-Toccoa), Alisha Thomas (D-Austell) and House Speaker Terry Coleman (D-Eastman) are introducing the bill this session.

Here's a note from Sally Harrell. Note who she says want to dilute the bill. The bill itself is below Harrell's remarks.

As author of House Bill 1013 (Recess Bill), I have been working with many organizations to garner the support we need to pass this bill, but recently we have met with strong opposition. The Georgia School Board Association and the Superintendents Association want to dilute HB 1013 to the point where it does nothing to return recess to our K-8 schools.

The state school board association needs to hear that local school boards are getting pressure from you to support this bill. Itís just as important to contact your local school board members at this point, as it will be to contact your legislators in the future.

Please take the time read HB 1013 (below) and let local school board members know how important a daily, scheduled break is for our children.

Rep. Sally Harrell
District 54


Georgia's Recess Bill


To amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elementary and secondary education, so as to provide for a daily break for certain students; to provide that such break shall be considered academic instruction and not physical education; to provide for policies of local boards; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.


Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elementary and secondary education, is amended by inserting a new Code section to be designated Code Section 202323 to read as follows:

(a) Each local board of education shall schedule time for all students in kindergarten and grades one through eight to have a daily break period consisting of at least 15 minutes of supervised, unstructured activity time, preferably outdoors. For the purposes of Code Section 202290, this chapter, and the rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education, the recess required by this Code section shall be considered as academic instruction and shall not be a replacement for structured physical education or physical activity.

(b) Local boards of education should establish policies to ensure that recess is a safe experience for students, that recess is scheduled so that it provides a break during academic learning, and that recess is not used as a reward or incentive on a regular basis.

All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

— Bill 1013



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