Governor Rick Scott signed the recess mandate into law on June 15, 2017. We are especially grateful to State Representative Rene Plasencia and State Senator (and President Pro Tempore) Anitere Flores, our bill sponsors in the Florida House and Senate in 2017 for their dedication and commitment to daily recess, and to the Florida PTA for its unwavering support. Thank you also to our fellow recess advocates and supporting organizations. See what we can accomplish when we work together to improve the lives of our children?
Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, all elementary school children in grades K-5 attending traditional public schools in the State of Florida are required to receive:
1. 150 minutes weekly of structured physical education (a qualifying session can be no shorter than 30 minutes in length)
2. At least 100 minutes weekly of unstructured free-play recess (there must be no less than 20 consecutive minutes per day)
This means recess cannot be used to meet the PE mandate and PE cannot be used to meet the recess mandate.
The relevant section of the statute reads as follows:
1003.455 Physical education; assessment.—
(6) In addition to the requirements in subsection (3), each district school board shall provide at least 100 minutes of supervised, safe, and unstructured free-play recess each week for students in kindergarten through grade 5 so that there are at least 20 consecutive minutes of free-play recess per day. This requirement does not apply to charter schools.
Our recess bills did not pass via the traditional route. Instead, the recess language was added to several education “train” bills, and that’s how the mandate became law. You can read our thoughts on what happened here.
Links to the 2017 recess bills can be found below:
Links to the 2016 recess bills can be found below: