Illinois students in grades K-5 will have 30 protected minutes of recess due to Sen. Robert J. Peters, Rep. Aarón Ortíz and parent group, Illinois Families for Public Schools (IL-FPS). Governor JB Pritzker signed the bill into law on August 13th, effective immediately. This bill is one of the strongest and longest recess/play laws passed in the country. Most state recess laws require 20 minutes or split time across physical education or recess. Arkansas has required 40 minutes per day since 2019. Under the Illinois bill, the unstructured play time cannot be removed as punishment, and students with disabilities will be provided accommodations. The “Right to Play” bill was supported by many state, local and national organizations, and its passage followed a 15-year push led by parent group POWER-PAC IL, staff supported by Communities Organizing for Family Issues (COFI), who had bills in the General Assembly multiple times since 2006, leading to a 2011 state task force that recommended students in grades K-8 have 30 minutes of daily recess. The “Right to Play” bill, SB 654 was endorsed by a coalition of organizations led by Illinois Families for Public Schools, including Access Living, Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, Chicago Teachers Union, Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI), Defending the Early Years, and Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children to name a few.
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August 19, 2021 at 06:08AM