Time to play? Florida House says yes, but Senate still a no

Florida schools would be required to let children out each day for recess under a bill approved by the Florida House.

The House voted 112-2 on Thursday for a bill that would require elementary schools to set aside 20 minutes each day for "free play recess." Schools could not withhold recess for academic reasons or to punish students.

Mothers of school children have been lobbying for the bill (HB 833) all session. They say children need recess to expend energy and give them a break from schoolwork.

But it appears that the Senate will not consider the legislation, despite the overwhelming vote.

Sen. John Legg, the chairman of the Senate Education PreK-12 committee, said recess time should be decided by local school boards. He said the bill was a "one size fits all" mandate that would not give discretion to principals and teachers.