School recess legislation back in Georgia


A proposal to mandate daily recess for young students in public schools is back in the Georgia General Assembly.

House Bill 273 by Rep. Demetrius Douglas, D-Stockbridge, passed the Georgia House of Representatives last year but stalled in the Senate. It’s back again during this legislative session and, on Monday, the Senate Education and Youth Committee voted it out of committee, which means it could get a vote on the Senate floor.

The bill does not guarantee recess despite the use of the word “shall.” Rather, it requires that schools schedule it daily in kindergarten through fifth grade except on days when students already have physical education or other “structured activity time” or when the weather is bad and there’s no indoor space for play. And it only says a school “is encouraged” to schedule an average of 30 minutes a day.

Though the bill requires school boards to schedule recess, it also clarifies that the legislation “shall not be construed to be a statute relating to the protection of the physical health and safety” of students and everyone else at a school. Therefore, 178 of Georgia’s 180 school districts that have signed “flexibility” contracts with the state can get a waiver from the mandate. Only the school systems for the city of Buford and for Webster County would have to schedule recess.

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

The AJC's Ty Tagami keeps you updated on the latest happenings in K-12 education issues affecting Georgia. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in state and local education. Subscribe to myAJC.com.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Education

Engineering firm shows students how lessons apply in real world
Engineering firm shows students how lessons apply in real world

A primary focus of today’s school systems is educating students with an eye toward career goals, so engaging private businesses is key. A recent outing sponsored by Columbia Engineering, a community partner with nearby Coleman Middle School, shows why. It gave a group of eighth-graders what teacher LaShandia Hill called “a true ‘day...
Mass shootings spur metro Atlanta students to plan school walkouts
Mass shootings spur metro Atlanta students to plan school walkouts

Students across metro Atlanta plan to walk out of at least two dozen middle schools, high schools and universities next month as part of a national protest against gun violence. The National School Walkout is one of three high-profile demonstrations that students around the country are joining as they call for gun law changes after last week&rsquo...
Tighter rules for Uber Eats delivery, visitors at Atlanta high school
Tighter rules for Uber Eats delivery, visitors at Atlanta high school

After last week’s school shooting in Florida, North Atlanta High School will institute safety measures that include disciplining students who order food delivery and tighter rules for visitors.  North Atlanta principal Curtis Douglass sent a letter to parents Friday outlining security changes at the high school.  Among the changes...
NFL player discusses what he’ll bring home from Morehouse College social justice workshop
NFL player discusses what he’ll bring home from Morehouse College social justice workshop

Najee Goode, a linebacker on the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, is one of 27 current and former athletes visiting Morehouse College in Atlanta this week for a three-day workshop on how they can address social justice issues in their communities. The workshop was created after last year’s national debate over the appropriateness...
Change to Georgia senate bill raises safety concerns
Change to Georgia senate bill raises safety concerns

Some Georgia Tech students and residents who live near the campus are raising concerns about recent changes to legislation they fear will impede campus safety. Senate Bill 348 initially allowed campus police to go up to 500 yards off campus to make arrests. Senate lawmakers, though, changed the distance campus police can venture off campus to make...
More Stories