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Changes could be coming to Florida 'recess' bill

Posted at 4:17 AM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 13:30:38-04

Changes to a bill making its way through the Florida house and senate could leave some "recess moms" unhappy. When submitted, the bill aimed to require all public schools in Florida, grades k-5, to provide 100 minutes of recess time in a week. That equates to about 20 minutes a day.

Quitoria Combs and her two-year-old son love to get outdoors and she says having free time is important.

"There's a lot of obesity and things like that going on. You want them to have that type of activity," said Combs. 

The bill has gone through the senate smoothly, but Chris Latvala a house representative out of Clearwater, wants to amend the bill allowing personal education to count towards recess requirements. It would extend the requirements to 150 minutes, but free play could only count for kids in grades K-3. The amended bill would call for 20 minutes of free play on days when personal education isn't scheduled.

 

"With physical education, they have things that they have to do as far as, with the school board and things they have to teach the kids at that time," said Combs.

Juliet Reyes says her son Lucian has a speech delay and getting outside with other children helps him learn how to interact with other kids. 

"I think it's going to be great for children and also for parents because they will have free time outside and I think it will teach the child that there are other ways to learn," said Reyes. "I think it's going to be great also for teachers so they can have a little break too." 

The bill needs to make its way through committees before heading to the house floor for a vote and will need to match the senate bill. If not, the senate and house will have to come to an agreement or nix the bill altogether.