A House panel voted unanimously Tuesday morning for a proposal requiring recess at all elementary schools.
The K-12 subcommittee heard from mothers and students about the need for 20 minutes of unstructured play during the school day.
Committee members said they were surprised the issue had become a state-wide concern and could not be approved at the local level.
A resolution passed in Orange County last year recommending recess, but not requiring it. Local parents were frustrated that they couldn't get principals or the district to allow recess time.
"You can't expect these small 6, 7, 8-year-olds to sit for six hours in the day without a break. We as adults don't do that at our own jobs," said mother Amy Narvaez.
If the proposal is approved, it would go into effect in July.
"We need this bill to pass. It's good for kids," said Orange County mother Heather Mellet.
The bill still has to go to the House floor for a vote. There is a similar bill in the Senate that has yet to be approved.
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