Los Angeles

Lawsuit Claims California Schools Not Giving Students Enough PE Time

A lawsuit filed against 90 California school districts claims kids are not getting enough physical education time that they have been promised by law.

"I can say that it's very clear that it's not happening," attorney Donald Driscoll said. "The school districts say they're doing it all, the local administrators do much more of it. But if you talk to the teachers you find out how much of it is really being done."

Driscoll has filed several complaints against school districts in California, claiming kids are getting little or no PE time. He recently settled with Los Angeles Unified and San Francisco Unified districts over the issue.

California law states all students in grades one through six get 200 minutes of PE per 10 days of class. Driscoll suspects pressure to improve school testing scores have kept kids in classroom chairs instead of getting the P.E. time required by law.

Palo Alto Unified School District is one of the districts named in the lawsuit. Superintendent Max McGee said PE is a critical factor in a student's ability to learn.

"If someone is trying to get higher test scores by having them sit longer to prepare for a test they're doing the students a disservice, plain and simply," McGee said. "The students will be better when they have exercise."

PE time is logged by teacher and school principals turn it in monthly to the district.

"If you go around to the schools and talk to the teachers, talk to the administrator they'll say it's important," Driscoll said. "But whether it happens, that's the key issue."

Contact Us