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PE Teacher Saves Local Taxpayers Millions Annually

Superintendent of Schools: “So Mr. PE teacher, I’ve spoken with most of our staff and I understand the value that the math, science, language arts, history, and the technology teachers bring to our table. But with budget shortages on the horizon I need to understand the value that you bring to the table too. I’m sure you know that I have to cost justify everyone and everything in this district, so help me here.”

PE Teacher: “Well Mr. Superintendent, I also appreciate the value that the math, science, language arts, history, and technology teachers bring to the table. Those are all very important components of a good education in today’s fast moving world. But when it comes to PE I’d like to concentrate on one factor that I think will answer your question most thoroughly.”

“I recognize that in the minds of many community members, including administrators and school board members, PE ranks at the bottom of the educational totem pole. But let me tell you that I’m the teacher in this school who helps our students arm themselves against America’s # 1 health threat, obesity, for life. And in the process I save local taxpayers millions annually on health care costs and impoved production on the job.”

Superintendent of Schools: “Oh really? How do you do that? And can you document your claim with any hard cold data?”

PE Teacher: “I certainly can. Two years ago we began helping all our students learn to physically pull their own weight – to do pull ups – because odds are that kids who can do even one pull up are NOT OBESE. And once they learn how to pull their own weight, all they have to do is maintain the ability, which requires decent eating and exercise habits and about 30 seconds each week, and they’ll never have to wrestle with obesity and all the problems that follow in its wake.”

At the beginning of school 2 years ago 10% of our students could do pull ups. And at the end of that year, 50% had developed the ability. At the end of this current year we’re on track to have 75% of our kids who can physically pull their own weight. And in the fourth or fifth year of this project we expect that obesity will be all but eliminated in our school district, which in the long run will save our community millions of dollars.

“But there’s more. Obesity has been proven to undermine self esteem, which in turn undermines academic achievement (upon which our schools are judged), school attendance (according to which our schools are funded), and supposedly 60% of all bullying is rooted in obesity. So as obesity is systematically reduced in our schools, self esteems will improve along with academic achievement, school attendance, and behavior.”

“In that light Mr. Superintendent I now want to ask how do your math, science, language arts, history, and technology teachers stack up to your PE teachers?” And does PE belong at the top or the bottom of your educational totem pole? I’ll look forward to hearing your answer.

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