Recess in the News

California’s Students Guaranteed 30 Minutes of Outdoor Recess Time with New Law

Why does recess matter?

Research shows that physical activity and playtime during the school day can improve academic performance, social skills, and overall well-being. Ideally, kids should be getting at least 60 min of moderately rigorous physical activity per day, but they are not getting that from their school day. 

Over the last twenty years, since 2001, average weekly recess time in U.S. schools has declined by 60 minutes.

States of Recess

13 States Require Daily Recess:

Arizona (2018)
Arkansas (2019)
California (2023)
Connecticut (2012)
District of Columbia (2010)*
Florida (2017)
Georgia (2023)
Louisiana (2023)
Illinois (2021)
Missouri (2009)
New Jersey (2019)
Rhode Island (2016)
Washington (2023)
Virginia (2006)

States with Pending Recess Legislation


There is a two-bill package for the change in both chambers: House Bills 5081-5082 and Senate Bills 534-535. All were introduced Oct. 3.Teachers of K-5 students could count 30 minutes of recess toward teaching time. 
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Minnesota will be refining the definition of recess retention and stipulate circumstances which are acceptable for withholding recess. Not a law requiring recess, but prohibits the use of recess as a disciplinary tool.
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House Bill 1081 requires 30 minutes of daily recess for students, in addition to 60 minutes weekly physical education. Recess should happen outside the classroom, weather permitting.

States Recently Passes Recess Legislation


California's recess law was signed in by Governor Gavin Newsom on 10/13/2023. Sb291 requires daily recess of at least 30 minutes and prohibits teachers from restricting students from recess.
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Recess just passed recess legislation, HB 121. It requires at least one recess 15 minutes in length for students daily and has been signed by the governor, becoming Act. 219, effective starting 8/1/2023.
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Washington has passed SB5257, and the law was signed by the governor on 5/4/2023. This law requires 30 minutes of daily recess for student starting with school year 2024-25, effective 7/23/2023.
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Kids Need Breaks, Too!

This site was created to help parents advocate for recess for their children.

This is a parent-created website where you can access valuable information about the significance of recess, updated research and news on recess in schools, letter templates that you can utilize to correspond with school leaders, and the ongoing efforts in various states to advance the rights of students regarding recess in schools.