PORTLAND, Ore. -- A crowd of about 200 turned out for Tuesday’s Portland School Board meeting, most to show support for keeping physical education programs in local elementary and middle schools.
Phys Ed and several other programs face elimination as Portland schools try to balance a $19 million shortfall.
Cutting Phys Ed in Portland elementary and middle schools would save the district more than $6 million.
According to supporters of the program, including doctors and many parents, the money saved by eliminating Phys Ed would be wiped out by future health problems.
"The data is clear. The science is clear," said Dr. Minot Cleveland. "Kids that are more fit do better academically, they do better physically, so it doesn't have to be an either or. We have to have both to work together."
"It's not just the learning of the skills and building of the endurance and strength and the flexibility and the agility and the balance and all those base level things that kids get from PE," said Phys Ed instructor Sarah Spella, "but it's also the social interaction."
Other programs like music are also at risk of being cut to balance Portland's school budget.
School officials say they've got to cut somewhere to make ends meet.