Download This Version in Microsoft Word format
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
AS PASSED BY THE SENATE
June 2, 2004
Introduced by Reps. Miller, Hayes, J.E. Smith, Altman, Anthony, Battle, Bowers, Branham, Ceips, Clark, Clemmons, Clyburn, Frye, Gourdine, Hagood, Harrison, Herbkersman, Whipper, M. Hines, Hinson, Hosey, Keegan, Leach, Littlejohn, Lloyd, Ott, Rhoad, Rice, Richardson, Scarborough, Snow, Stille, Taylor, Townsend, Vaughn, Whitmire, Witherspoon and Young
S. Printed 6/2/04--S.
Read the first time April 20, 2004.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, SO AS TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOLS ACT" BY ADDING SECTION 59-17-150 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNING BODIES SHALL WORK WITH SCHOOL DISTRICTS LOCATED IN THEIR JURISDICTIONS TO IDENTIFY BARRIERS AND HAZARDS TO CHILDREN WALKING OR BICYCLING TO AND FROM SCHOOL, TO PROVIDE THAT THE MUNICIPALITIES, COUNTIES, AND DISTRICTS MAY DEVELOP A PLAN FOR THE FUNDING OF IMPROVEMENTS DESIGNED TO REDUCE THE BARRIERS AND HAZARDS IDENTIFIED, TO PROVIDE THAT EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL FORM A COORDINATING COMMITTEE AND EACH SCHOOL SHALL FORM A SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL TEAM TO PERFORM SPECIFIED FUNCTIONS IN REGARD TO SAFE PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE ROUTES TO SCHOOL, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE FIRST WEDNESDAY OF OCTOBER OF EACH YEAR IS DESIGNATED AS "WALK YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL/BIKE TO SCHOOL DAY" IN EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THIS STATE.
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. This act may be cited as the "South Carolina Safe Routes to Schools Act".
SECTION 2. Chapter 17, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 59-17-150. (A) Municipal and county governing bodies shall work with school districts located in their jurisdictions to identify barriers and hazards to children walking or bicycling to and from school. The municipalities, counties, and districts may develop a plan for the funding of improvements designed to reduce the barriers and hazards identified. The sources of these funds may include federal funding or grants, state funding, or funding from private sources. Nothing in this section shall obligate any agency of federal, state, or local government to provide funding for identified improvements.
(B) Each school district in this State may establish a Safe Routes to School District Coordinating Committee. The coordinating committee shall include parents, children, teachers, administrators, local law enforcement officials, public health officials, interested citizens, and other persons familiar with the transportation needs of the school district. Duties of the coordinating committee may include gathering information about the schools in the district through surveys and traffic counts; organizing incentive-based events and contests to encourage students to try new modes of transportation, and promoting the program through school newsletters, assemblies, web sites, and other means to reach parents and students.
Any school within the district may establish a Safe Routes to School Team. The team shall include parents, children, teachers, administrators, and neighbors of the school. The team may be expanded to include local law enforcement officials, public health officials, and other persons familiar with the transportation needs of the school. The team shall select a representative to serve on the District Coordinating Committee. Duties of the team may include gathering information about their school through surveys and traffic counts, organizing incentive-based events and contests to encourage students to try new modes of transportation, and promoting the program through school newsletters and other means to reach parents and students.
(C) The first Wednesday of October of each year is designated as 'Walk or Bicycle with Your Child to School Day' in each school district of this State to promote walking or riding bicycles to school by students, with escorts if necessary, and to identify needed improvements such as sidewalks or safer pedestrian routes not open to vehicular traffic."
SECTION 3. Section 59-26-20(j) of the 1976 Code is amended by adding a paragraph at the end to read:
"Notwithstanding another provision of this item:
(1) For a student seeking loan forgiveness pursuant to the Teacher Loan Program after July 1, 2004, 'critical geographic area' must be defined as a school that:
(a) has an absolute rating of below average or unsatisfactory;
(b) has an average teacher turnover rate for the past three years that is twenty percent or higher; or
(c) meets the poverty index criteria at the seventy percent level or higher.
(2) After July 1, 2004, a student shall have his loan forgiven based on those schools or districts designated as critical geographic areas at the time of employment.
(3) The definition of critical geographic area must not change for a student who has a loan, or who is in the process of having a loan forgiven before July 1, 2004."
SECTION 4. Article 3, Chapter 25, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 59-25-280. (A) The State Board of Education permanently shall revoke, refuse to issue, or renew a certificate without a hearing, if the holder of or applicant for the certificate pleads guilty, pleads nolo contendere, or is found guilty of the following crimes, whether or not a sentence is imposed and regardless of where the matter was tried:
(1) a violent crime as defined in Section 16-1-60;
(2) certain offenses related to obscenity, material harmful to minors, child exploitation, and child prostitution, including Sections 16-15-305, 16-15-335, 16-15-345, 16-15-355, 16-15-365, 16-15-385, 16-15-387, 16-15-395, 16-15-405, 16-15-410, 16-15-415, and 16-15-425; or
(3) a criminal offense similar in nature to the crimes listed in items (1) and (2) committed in other jurisdictions or pursuant to federal law.
(B) A school district may not employ an educator in any capacity whose South Carolina certificate is revoked pursuant to subsection (A)."
SECTION 5. The General Assembly finds that:
(1) South Carolina ranks tenth in the United States for the number of overweight and obese people;
(2) the number of overweight children in South Carolina has tripled since the 1960's;
(3) South Carolina ranks first in the number of strokes, third in heart disease, and tenth in diabetes;
(4) regular physical activity helps to improve strength and endurance, prevents obesity and controls body weight, helps build healthy bones and muscles, and reduces anxiety and stress;
(5) newly completed research shows a significant relationship between academic achievement and physical fitness;
(6) many elementary school students do not have any instruction in physical education, and most children have physical education only once or twice a week for thirty to forty minutes;
(7) most middle school students have physical education only nine weeks out of each year for one period a day;
(8) physical activity offers young people many health benefits, including improving aerobic endurance and muscular strength; helping to control weight, build lean muscle, and reduce fat; and helping to build greater bone mass, which prevents against osteoporosis; and
(9) studies show that physically active children have higher classroom and standardized test scores.
SECTION 6. Section 59-29-80 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 59-29-80. (A)
There shall be established and provided in all the public schools of this State Each public school shall provide physical education, training, and instruction of pupils of both sexes, and every pupil attending any school, in so far as he is physically fit and able to do so, shall take the course or courses provided by this section to each student in kindergarten through eighth grade for the entire school year. Students must be given opportunities to develop lifelong commitments to the enjoyment and health benefits of physical activity. A suitable modified courses shall course must be provided for students a student physically or mentally unable or unfit to take the physical education course or courses prescribed for normal pupils provided. However, in any a public school which that offers a military or naval ROTC program sponsored by one of the military services of the United States, training in such a this program may be deemed equivalent to physical education instruction, and may be accepted in lieu instead of such physical education instruction for all purposes, academic or nonacademic, as may hereinafter be provided.
(B) As used in this section 'physical education' means a planned, sequential program of curricula and instruction that helps students develop the knowledge, attitudes, motor skills, self-management skills, and confidence needed to adopt and maintain physically active lifestyles.
(C) Beginning with the 2006-07 school year, each elementary school shall provide at least one hundred fifty minutes of physical education during each school week, and each middle school shall provide at least two hundred fifty minutes of physical education during each week.
(D) In the school years before the 2006-07 school year, schools, teachers, and parents shall seek to incorporate physical activity into each day before, during, and after school. School districts shall encourage physical activity after school. Schools and health councils shall suggest activities for children and their parents and send parents information on the value of fitness.
(E) Each school shall develop a reward program for daily physical activity before and after school and during summer vacation.
(F) Schools shall:
(1) stress lifetime fitness where students may develop skills among a variety of sports. Lifetime fitness includes running, golf, tennis, cycling, swimming, and dance;
(2) offer a diverse range of noncompetitive and competitive activities appropriate for different ages and abilities;
(3) give young people the skills and confidence they need to be physically active; and
(4) promote physical activity through the components of a coordinated school health program and develop links between school and community programs.
(G) Schools are encouraged to:
(1) assess the fitness of students each year and provide a report to the parents along with appropriate recommendations for improving a student's fitness;
(2) use the School Health Index for Physical Activity and Healthy Eating provided by the Centers for Disease Control, which is a self-assessment and planning tool to enable schools to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their physical activity and nutrition policies and programs, develop an action plan for improving student health, and involve teachers, parents, students, and the community in improving school services; and
(3) have a physical education program assessment based on the South Carolina Physical Education Assessment Model and state standards to measure effectiveness and adherence to program standards.
(H) The State Board of Education shall establish a pilot program for a two-year physical activity project. A committee to oversee the program and to seek grants and other funding to cover the program and evaluation must be formed. The committee shall consist of seven members, three appointed by the State Board of Education and four appointed by the General Assembly. The pilot program must incorporate the recommendations of the State Task Force on Physical Activity and the American Heart Association. The committee shall choose the schools to participate in the program.
(I)(1) By July 1, 2006, each school with kindergarten through eighth grade shall organize a school health advisory council to advise the school on aspects of the school health program and provide direction for administrators to develop a state-of-the-art school health program. The school health advisory council shall help the school with planning and prioritizing programs, raising funds for health-related initiatives, educating the community and parents and increasing their involvement in the school, and assessing needs and evaluating programs. The school health council shall represent diverse segments of the community.
(2) A school that has a school improvement council shall incorporate health and physical activity goals into its school improvement plans instead of organizing a separate school health council.
(J) By July 1, 2005, The State Department of Education shall develop a one-page survey to be completed by each elementary and middle school with kindergarten through eighth grade. The survey must include questions on facilities inside and outside the school and on the use and availability of physical education teachers. The Department of Education shall report the findings of the survey to the Senate Education Committee and the House Education and Public Works Committee.
(K) A student may be exempted from physical education requirements by seeking a waiver from the local school board of trustees. The local board may grant
such a the request based on the following criteria:
(1) The student must present a statement by his attending physician indicating that participation in physical education will jeopardize the student's health and well-being; or
(2)(a) The parent and student must show that the student's attending physical education classes will violate their religious beliefs and would not be merely a matter of personal objection; and
(b) the parent or student must be members of a recognized religious faith that objects to physical education as part of its official doctrine or creed.
The local board shall encourage the student to take, as an alternative to physical education, appropriate instruction in health education or other instruction in lifestyle modification if an exemption is granted pursuant to this section."
(L) Implementation of this act shall not take place until funding has been provided by the General Assembly."
SECTION 7. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
This web page was last updated on Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:54 A.M.