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Phy Ed mandate? Maybe

RHINELANDER, Wis (WXPR) - The state is hoping to mandate more physical education in schools. Area school leaders last week said it's a worthy goal, but it places cash-strapped districts into a bind.

The Speaker's Task Force On Rural Schools met in Rhinelander last week. Task Force member, Representative Stephen Nass asked Rhinelander School Superintendent Kelli Jacobi about unfunded mandates. She mentioned the possible new phy ed requirement. "I don't believe there's going to be any funding to districts to make that happen. Although I believe phy ed is great for kids, I'm not saying that I don't, It means I'm hiring additional phy ed teachers...in place of...I'm going to have to get rid of one of my foreign languages to do that."

Jacobi and other leaders said the rigid state mandate of 180 days of education is causing problems. They said the districts should be given more flexibility to put in the required time without having to stay in session the state-required number of days.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos authorized the bipartisan panel headed by Representative Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander to listen to concerns from rural educators.