A study examining the mandates for school-based physical education in each state found only six states mandate the appropriate guidelines – 150 minutes each week – for elementary school physical education.
The study by University of Georgia kinesiology professor Bryan McCullick found that or for older students, two states mandate the appropriate amount of physical education instruction for middle school, and none require adequate physical education at the high school level, a weekly 225 minutes for both. The National Association of Sport and Physical Education set guidelines for the amount of school-based physical education instructional time.
The results of his research were published in the June issue of the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education.
The study, according to sciencedaily.com, examined the role of federal courts in interpreting ambiguous physical education statutes. The results revealed that courts generally don't interfere with state legislative decisions concerning curriculum.
“This lack of a judicial safety net strengthens the need for clear legislative guidance if the statutes are to be interpreted in a way that will consistently adhere to the guidelines,” McCullick and his colleagues wrote in the report.
Despite their possible positive effects, programs are being reduced or eliminated in many schools, McCullick said. A lack of mandates, or statues written too broadly to enforce with fidelity, lessen the likelihood that schools will adhere to the guidelines.