An “innovative educational idea” to some is “not enough physical education” to others. A bill being considered in the Illinois House puts the spotlight on Zion-Benton’s “New Tech” program. Supporters of the bill to allow three days of physical education per week call the “New Tech” program a unique experience. “It emphasizes 21st Century learning in addition to the core content,” said State Rep. Sandi Pihos (R-Glen Ellyn). “Unlike most Illinois high schools, the students are required to take a full four years of English, math, science, and social studies.”
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Anything that sounds like less PE is a non-starter to some, though. “We’re classified as one of the most obese cities in the state of Illinois,” said State Rep. Charles Jefferson (D-Rockford) of his hometown. “Back in the day, when we were going to school, we were mandated to take physical education. We didn’t have that obesity problem as we do today.” H.B. 161 has failed in the House, 59-55-1, but the sponsor reserves the right to call it again. It needs 60 Yes votes to pass.