Rhode Island lawmakers debate requiring school recess

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Elementary school students in Rhode Island would get at least 20 minutes of recess each day under legislation being debated by state lawmakers.

The bill would require public schools to provide 20 consecutive minutes of free-play recess for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

It would also block school administrators from withholding recess for academic or punitive reasons.

Rhode Island Public Radio reports the state Department of Education requires a minimum 100 minutes per week for physical education but has no recess requirement.

Democratic Sen. Cynthia Coyne, of Barrington, and Democratic Rep. Kathleen Fogarty, of South Kingstown, introduced companion bills in the Senate and House.

The House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare recommended holding Fogarty’s bill for further study.

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