Va. Governor Vetoes Physical-Education Mandate

By ZINIE CHEN SAMPSON
|  Thursday, Mar 24, 2011  |  Updated 9:31 PM EDT
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Va. Governor Vetoes Physical-Education Mandate

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Gov. Bob McDonnell has vetoed a bill that would have required Virginia's public school divisions to require physical education in elementary and middle schools.

McDonnell on Thursday called the measure an unfunded mandate on localities. He said he agrees that exercise and physical activity are important but that "government cannot just pass legislation and make this problem go away."

The legislation would have required students from kindergarten through eighth grades to get an average of at least 150 minutes of PE per week. It was to take effect in the 2014-15 school year.

Physicians and other advocates said childhood obesity is leading to costly health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. School boards and superintendent groups said the measure would be too burdensome on many already cash-strapped districts.

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