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New Survey from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Shows Parents Are Concerned About Lack of P.E. in Public Schools

A new survey from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds that many parents are concerned about inadequate levels of physical education in U.S. public schools. NPR, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard School of Public Health polled 1,368 parents of public school children in grades K–12 on a range of issues around education and health in the their child's school. In a time when so many are concerned with the strength of school math and science programs, this new study proves physical education and health is also a top priority for parents.

Key Survey Findings

  • Roughly eight in 10 parents (82%) gave their child’s school a grade of A or B.

  • Almost seven in 10 parents (68%) said their child's school did not provide daily physical education; while one-quarter (25%) of parents reported that physical education got too little emphasis in school.
  • Close to three in 10 parents (28%) gave their child’s school a grade of C or lower for providing time for physical activity.

  • Though a majority (72%) of parents said school lunches were very or somewhat healthy, one in five (20%) reported school lunches to be very or somewhat unhealthy.
  • About three in four parents (72%) reported that their child’s school was extremely or very safe.

Learn more and download the complete survey here.

If the recommended amounts of physical activity for children are not being met through PE in schools, we must find another way to get there. The Women’s Sports Foundation’s award-winning physical activity program and curriculum, GoGirlGo!, is designed to keep girls involved in physical activity, provide tools to get girls active, and to improve the health of sedentary girls. GoGirlGo!, intended to reduce the obesity epidemic that many girls face, is especially important among low-income families who might not have access to sports programs, Learn more about GoGirlGo! here.