Washington Twp. may cut physical education teacher positions

Posted: March 19, 2013

The Washington Township Board of Education is considering cutting two or three physical education teaching positions and reducing the number of days it offers gym classes to high school students in an effort to manage costs.

About 50 teachers came to Monday's school board meeting to protest the plan. They told the board that the proposal would adversely affect at-risk and struggling students and increase already large class sizes.

Most high school students take physical education four days a week and take a science lab the fifth day. That fifth day, teachers said, is important for other students who need more attention.

Teachers also cited research showing that physical activity improves academic performance.

School board officials say that schools will still meet New Jersey's requirement that they provide 150 minutes of health, safety, and physical education per week for grades 1-12. That is about half the minimum amount of time - 60 minutes a day - that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends young people spend participating in physical activity.

The board will vote on the budget next week.


Contact Andrew Seidman at 856-779-3846, aseidman@phillynews.com, or @AndrewSeidman on Twitter.

 

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