BATON ROUGE, La (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) - The House Education Committee voted 8-5 Wednesday to approve a “Bring Back Recess Bill” requiring that students in grades K through 8 have 30 minutes of unstructured playtime daily.
The bill would allow school districts flexibility to decide how to allocate the minutes.
Baton Rouge Rep. Patricia Smith said it would be hard to require more free time when the state already mandates standards for accountability and performance, especially in the 4th and 8th grades.
State law requires a minimum of a 360-minute school day for 177 instructional days. Middle school students often attend six 50-minute classes, which already makes 300 minutes.
Most schools also provide a 30-minute lunch break, and five minutes to transition between each of their six classes eats up another 30 minutes a day.
Erin Bendily, the policy and government affairs director for the Education Department, said schools are currently required to provide 30 minutes of vigorous physical activity per day. Schools often provide this activity through physical education classes, which is structured time with instructional standards.
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