2019 Session: Proposal to mandate 40 minutes of recess in AR schools advances

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Update:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A bill to double recess time in Arkansas schools has cleared its first hurdle. 

On Tuesday the House Education Committee passed the bipartisan proposal that would increase play time from 20 to 40 minutes. 

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jana Della Rosa, R-Rogers, would ultimately like to see a full hour of recess. 

Original story:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A Northwest Arkansas lawmakers is pushing to add more recess time to the school day.

Rep. Jana Della Rosa, R-Rogers, filed House Bill 1409 on Thursday to address what she says is a lack of recess time for kids.

In November, a group called Parents for Active Learning questioned the House and Senate Education Committees about the 20 minutes of recess that is currently given to kids.

This bill would double that time to a mandated 40 minutes of play per day.

Della Rosa says this change is necessary because it would allow kids to burn off more energy in order to focus and behave in class.

“Doctors think kids need more recess, parents say kids need more recess, educators say kids need more recess, kids say kids need more recess. Why are we not doing this? Why are we not going ahead and fixing this?”

Della Rosa said ultimately she would like to see 60 minutes of recess in schools, but this is just a start.

Several other states including Florida, New Jersey, and Georgia, among others, have recently passed legislation aimed at protecting or extending recess.

The next step for this bill is waiting on a fiscal impact study.

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