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    Organization: Georgia Association of Educators     Date: 10/18/2017


  Georgia bill would require recess through 5th grade  

(Tuesday,02/14/2017 ©  WXIA-TV (NBC))

ATLANTA -- A bill in the legislature would bring back recess to elementary schools in Georgia.

Recess still exists but only sporadically. As schools have become more rigorous and more test score and data driven, critics say recess has gotten squeezed out of the school day.

A lot of the minutes of the day are totally focused on test scores and weve said over and over and over a child is more than a test score. And they need exercise and time to get out, said Dr. Sid Chapman, director of the Georgia Association of Educators, which represents public school teachers.

A bill in the legislature would restore thirty minutes of recess for public school students in kindergarten through fifth grade, preferably outdoors, the bill says. It also forbids teachers from using recess as punishment.

Lawmakers say the loss of recess time has been the result of decisions made at local schools and not the state. House education chairman Rep. Brooks Coleman says that is lamentable.

Let me tell you something, said Coleman, a former school principal. A little first second or third grader needs to be turned loose and allowed to run and scream and holler for awhile dont you think so?

The recess bill has bipartisan support among lawmakers. But Coleman, who is not among its cosponsors, cautions that it is also puts a squeeze on local school boards that already have a lot of challenges managing time during the school day.

(Â(c) 2017 WXIA)