School Health

School Health

Physical Education and Physical Activity

Bill # Author Status Brief Description Past Bills (2013)
HB 440 Rep. Larry Gonzales Signed into law by Governor
Would ensure public school physical education curriculum is adapted to accommodate the needs of students with mental disabilities.
HB 1172 Rep. Carol Alvarado Referred to Public Education
Failed to Pass.
Would create a program to recognize before-school and after-school programs that promote healthy eating and physical activity.
HB 2086 Rep. Alma Allen Referred to Public Education
Failed to Pass.
Would increase the number of semesters that middle school students are required to participate in 30 minutes of daily physical activity from 4 semesters to all 6 semesters. Would direct the Texas Education Agency to develop and institute policies for the recess period during the school day that encourage constructive, age-appropriate outdoor play time. Would reinstate the ½ credit of Health Education as a requirement for high school graduation (was eliminated in 2009); would return the Physical Education graduation requirement to 1.5 credits (was reduced to 1 credit in 2009). Similar bills for each of these measures, except for the recess policy, have been filed each session since 2011 and all have failed.
HB 2087 Rep. Alma Allen Referred to Human Services; committee vote failed (4/22)
Failed to Pass.
Would direct the Interagency Obesity Council to develop guidelines and incentives to educate licensed child-care providers, public school teachers, and public school administrators about serving as role models for children by practicing healthy nutrition and engaging in physical activity.
SB 1426 Sen. Royce West Referred to Education
Failed to Pass.
Would increase the number of semesters that middle school students are required to participate in 30 minutes of daily physical activity from 4 semesters to all 6 semesters. Would return the Physical Education graduation requirement to 1.5 credits (was reduced to 1 credit in 2009). Similar bills for each of these measures have been filed each session since 2011 and all have failed.

Physical Education and Physical Activity Resources

  1. Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to SchoolInstitute of Medicine, 2013.
  2. Report (2012): Revenue Neutral Policy Solutions to Youth Fitness Problems in Texas (PDF)
  3. Report (2010): Stuck in the Middle: The False Choice Between Health & Education in Texas Middle Schools (PDF)
  4. Infographic: Active Kids Learn Better; from Active Living Research

Student Fitness Assessment

Bill # Author Status Brief Description Past Bills (2013)
HB 1227 Rep. Rodney Anderson Referred to Public Education; out of committee
Failed to Pass.

Would eliminate requirement for student physical fitness assessment.

Update (5/21): the amendment in HB 2804 to eliminate student physical fitness assessment was removed in the Senate committee substitute.

Update (5/14): the provision to eliminate student physical fitness assessment was successfully added as an amendment to HB 2804.

HB 1156 failed; Left pending in Public Education
SB 952 Sen. Royce West Referred to Education
Failed to Pass.
Would require school districts to notify parents if their child scored below the recommended standard on their fitness assessment and provide the parents of these students with an individual wellness plan that prescribes specific actions, including actions relating to dietary choices and physical activity levels, that should be taken by the student to improve the student's health.

Student Fitness Assessment Resources

  1. Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to SchoolInstitute of Medicine, 2013.
  2. Evaluating Obesity Prevention Effects: A Plan for Measuring Progress. Institute of Medicine, 2013
  3. Institute of Medicine Fact Sheet: Strengthening Schools as the Heart of Health (PDF)
  4. Texas Comptroller’s Obesity web portal: Reshaping Texas
  5. Cooper Institute website: About FitnessGram student fitness testing

Coordinated School Health

Bill # Author Status Brief Description Past Bills (2013)
SB 518 Sen. Carlos Uresti Referred to Education
Failed to Pass.
Would direct school health advisory councils to include mental health concerns among the topics the council reviews. Companion bill: HB 3289 Similar bill: HB 2477 failed; Left pending in Public Education
HB 3289 Rep. Marsha Farney Referred to Public Education
Failed to Pass.
Would direct school health advisory councils to include mental health concerns among the topics the council reviews. Companion bill: SB 518 Similar bill: HB 2477 failed; Left pending in Public Education

Coordinated School Health Resources

  1. Webinar: The Whole Child Model: Why school leaders care so much about student, staff, and teacher wellness; featuring Frisco ISD superintendent Jeremy Lyon, PhD.

School Nutrition and Food Marketing

Bill # Author Status Brief Description Past Bills (2013)
HB 1305 Rep. Greg Bonnen Signed into law by Governor
Would allow schools the option to develop and implement a locally-funded program to provide free or reduced-price school breakfast instead of utilizing the national school breakfast program. Companion Bill: SB 981
SB 954 Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. Referred to Education
Failed to Pass.
Would direct school districts' School Health Advisory Councils (SHACs) to make recommendations regarding commercial advertising of food products, that are not part of the school meal program, on school or district property. Similar bill: SB 1785 failed; no action taken in Education
SB 981 Sen. Larry Taylor Referred to Education
Failed to Pass.
Would allow schools the option to develop and implement a locally-funded program to provide free or reduced-price school breakfast instead of utilizing the national school breakfast program. Companion Bill: HB 1305
HB 3894 Rep. Eddie Rodriguez Referred to Public Education
Failed to Pass.
Would create the Hunger-Free School Award program to recognize schools for excellence in providing federally funded meals to students during the school year and during the summer. Companion Bill: SB 1866
SB 1866 Sen. Judith Zaffirini Referred to Agriculture, Water, & Rural Affairs
Failed to Pass.
Would create the Hunger-Free School Award program to recognize schools for excellence in providing federally funded meals to students during the school year and during the summer. Companion Bill: HB 3894

School Food and Nutrition Resources

  1. Food and Nutrition in Texas: What You Need to Know; report from the Center for Public Policy Priorities