The Illinois State Board of Education or ISBE does not want Rockford students to be able to opt out of physical education.
In fact, the ISBE denied the renewal of the Rockford School District's PE waiver. Now it's up to state legislators to change that decision. In order for the Rockford School District to get a PE waiver, the Illinois Senate or House Education Committee has to grant the waiver. Then, the full senate then makes the final decision. That is expected to take place by the end of next week.
23 News has learned that there are enough votes for the waiver to pass the Senate Education Committee. By next Tuesday or Wednesday, the state Senate Education Committee is expected to override the state Board of Education. Rockford is expected to get their PE waiver renewed.
Locally, the renewal has both sides of the issue jumping to state their case. For those that are for the waiver want students to have their choice and opt out of gym. No gym would give students the chance to take higher-level courses for college.
Those against the waiver question the growing obesity problem amongst kids. The State of Illinois mandates that all Illinois students must take on hour of gym a day. The waiver allows students to get around that by participating in extra curricular activities.
One main reason the Illinois State Board of Education is said to not give Rockford the waiver is because of test scores. On the Illinois Learning Standards, Rockford scored 47 percent. The state rating overall was 67 percent.
The Senate Education Committee is expected to approve the waiver next Tuesday or Wednesday. That means Rockford may have a decision to renew the waiver by the end of next week.