Adopted New 19 TAC Chapter 103, Health and Safety, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Physical Fitness, §103.1003, Student Physical Activity Requirements and Exemptions
I. Statutory Citation (PDF)
II. Text of Adopted New 19 TAC Chapter 103, Health and Safety, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Physical Fitness, §103.1003, Student Physical Activity Requirements and Exemptions (PDF)
The rule action presented in this item will be filed as adopted with the Texas Register under the commissioner's rulemaking authority. This item adopts new 19 TAC Chapter 103, Health and Safety, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Physical Fitness, §103.1003, Student Physical Activity Requirements and Exemptions. The adopted new rule implements the requirements of the Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.002, as amended by Senate Bill (SB) 530, 80th Texas Legislature, 2007, which requires that school districts and open-enrollment charter schools require physical activity in Kindergarten-Grade 8 and allow for appropriate exemptions. No changes were made to the rule since published as proposed.
TEC, §28.002(l) and (l-1), as amended by SB 530, 80th Texas Legislature, 2007.
August 28, 2008.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES:
Through SB 530, the 80th Texas Legislature amended the TEC, §28.002, requiring school districts to ensure that students in Kindergarten-Grade 8 participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes daily. The TEC, §28.002(l) and (l-1), authorize the commissioner of education to provide exemptions for alternative extracurricular and other structured activities to meet the physical activity requirement.
Adopted new 19 TAC Chapter 103, Health and Safety, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Physical Fitness, §103.1003, Student Physical Activity Requirements and Exemptions, implements the TEC, §28.002(l) and (l-1), by specifying options for exemptions at the district level to meet the physical activity requirements in certain grade levels. The adopted new rule includes exemptions for health classifications, an extracurricular activity, a school-related activity, or an activity sponsored by a private league or club. The new rule also provides a definition for structured activity.
No changes were made to the rule since published as proposed.
The Texas Education Agency has determined that there are no additional costs to persons or entities required to comply with the proposed rule action. In addition, there is no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses and microbusinesses; therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis, specified in Texas Government Code, §2006.002, is required.
PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT:
The adopted new rule will benefit the public and students by increasing public awareness of quality physical education programs and emphasizing the importance of community and school-based support of school health programming. The new rule will also strengthen physical education and physical activity programs to ensure health improvement among the student population, including a gradual reduction in childhood obesity and Type II diabetes.
PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS:
LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS:
The public comment period on the proposal began May 2, 2008, and ended June 1, 2008. Following is a summary of the public comments received and corresponding agency responses regarding proposed new 19 TAC §103.1003, Student Physical Activity Requirements and Exemptions.
Comment: Two educators and one individual commented in support of the proposed rule.
Agency Response: The agency agrees.
Comment: A parent expressed concerns with language in proposed subsection (d) that defines structured activities that would be considered exempt from the physical activity requirement. The parent commented that the proposed language would require off-campus physical activity providers, such as those for private league or club activities, to teach the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for physical education in 19 TAC Chapter 116 in their entirety. The parent also stated that the school district in the community in which he resides currently permits physical activity exemptions for students participating in private Olympic-level activities, as authorized by 19 TAC §74.11. The parent noted that since private Olympic-level activities do not necessarily address all the competencies listed in 19 TAC Chapter 116, it may be very difficult for students to continue obtaining these exemptions. The parent further stated that the requirement seems inconsistent with the intent of SB 530 and recommended changes to the rule text to address his concerns.
Agency Response: The agency disagrees and maintains language as published as proposed. The proposed language does not impede upon the district's ability to direct the teaching of the TEKS. The rule provides for a structured activity to be based on the grade appropriate movement, physical activity and health, and social development strands of the TEKS for physical education, not individual student expectations within the TEKS.
Comment: Two educators from Alief Independent School District (ISD) commented that minimum physical activity requirements should not apply to students in Grade 6 who attend an intermediate school. The educators expressed concern that intermediate schools do not have the resources available to implement the new rule, such as large gyms, tracks, weight rooms, and dressing rooms.
Agency Response: The agency disagrees and maintains language as published as proposed. The legislation and proposed rule provide flexibility for meeting the physical activity requirement throughout Grades 6, 7, and 8. In addition, intermediate schools are not solely responsible for meeting this requirement. The responsibility to ensure that students in Grades 6, 7, and 8 meet the requirement will be shared across the district.
Comment: An individual commented that there is not enough time in the school day to support the minimum physical activity requirement. The individual stated that it is extremely difficult, at best, to accomplish the necessary instructional time for core subject areas already.
Agency Response: The agency disagrees and maintains language as published as proposed. The new rule provides flexibility that will allow school districts to develop options and opportunities for students to be physically active.
Comment: An individual commented that school health initiatives will need the support of academic and administrative teams.
Agency Response: The agency agrees.
Comment: A counselor from Ector County ISD and an educator commented that the minimum physical activity requirement will limit students' opportunities to take elective courses. The counselor also commented that students should be allowed to explore other elective options in eighth grade, in particular if the students have taken eight years of physical education in Kindergarten-Grade 7. The educator also commented that students will not participate in physical activity.
Agency Response: The agency disagrees and maintains language as published as proposed. The new rule provides flexibility for meeting the physical activity requirement, while allowing school districts to maintain elective options and providing students with opportunities to be physically active.
OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES:
Staff Members Responsible:
Jeff Kloster, Associate Commissioner, Health and Safety
Julie Harris-Lawrence, Deputy Associate Commissioner, Student Services and GED
Marissa L. Rathbone, Director, School Health
For additional information, email email@example.com.