New York, NY —
Third graders in New York City's public school system are supposed to have gym class every day. But only 4 percent of them get to run around as part of the school day. This according to a report by the city's public advocate.
Betsy Gotbaum's office surveyed 100 city schools at random and found that physical education is also lax in middle schools. She says nearly 70 percent of schools violated state regulations on in-school fitness. And almost 50 percent had no athletic teams.
Gotbaum says exercise is a key to eliminating obesity and should be a priority.
The city's Department of Education says it's flexing its muscle on the issue with a new Office of Fitness and Health Education and full-time phys ed teachers in 90 percent of city schools.