- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 24, 2011

RICHMOND | Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell vetoed a bill Thursday that would have required elementary and middle schools to provide at least 150 minutes of physical education per week.

School districts strongly opposed the bill, calling it an unfunded mandate that would saddle them with additional costs and crowd out time for core subjects.

Mr. McDonnell, a Republican, said the state could not expect cash-strapped school districts to pay for the new policy.

“This mandated time for physical education would exceed the time dedicated to any other subject in our public school system and potentially cut into crucial time in the classroom needed for instruction in math, science, history and reading,” he said.

The Virginia Education Association along with other education and local government groups opposed the bill, while it was supported by 13 health and community groups including the Virginia chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians.

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