Give Florida Gardiner Kids Proper Physical Education

Give Florida Gardiner Kids Proper Physical Education

January 1, 2020
Petition to
Gardiner Scholarship and 4 others
This petition made change with 192 supporters!

Why this petition matters

Started by Mark Fleming

Children with special needs have been afforded an amazing scholarship in Florida to help them get the education they deserve. This is called the Gardiner Scholarship.

The way this scholarship works is either parents get reimbursed by the state to pay for items and services or the state deems a service/items pertinent to a child's education that they will directly pay for them. It is obvious that the second option is the most preferred, especially for families that may not have as much disposable income.

I recently found out that this scholarship does not afford these kids to get direct professional physical education from an educated professional, like it does in the public school system. It does pay directly for services like art and music classes, which have seen to cause the same improvements as physical activity can have in cognitive functioning. It also pays for services that help with physical impairments in the form of Occupational and Physical Therapy, but most kids graduate where they no longer need these services. However, these kids still can have fitness needs to ensure they live their best lives from a physical aspect. That's why a professional needs to be a direct provider to ensure a child's physical deficiencies do not come back due to lack of inactivity or improper exercise guidance. 

Physical activity has proven to improve quality and quantity of life through: improved cognitive functioning, decreased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, better mobility for daily activities, improved mood, improved socialization, improved sleep, and decreased stress.

As an individual with a disability myself, I can attest to the vast benefits I gained from early physical activity guided by a professional. I can safely say that if I did not have anything after my OT and PT, I would not be where I am today physically or professionally. Please help me in letting the Board of Education in Florida know that it is not okay to allow physical education the only class not afforded direct pay for special needs children. It sends the message to parents that their kids do not deserve to improve physically like kids in the public school system and that the only way to help their kids to improve physically is to make a tough decision of paying out of pocket for it. Let our voices be heard to allow these kids to have the physical education they deserve from qualified professionals.

Goal: Provide an avenue for these kids on the Gardiner scholarship to get Physical Education from a qualified individual without having to pay out of pocket for it beforehand

Discretion: I own and operate a business that would profit from this change. However, I am not doing this as my business but as an individual with a disability who personally and professionally knows the vast benefits these kids can benefit if this change was made to the Gardiner Scholarship. I believe this decision to not make a path for a fitness professional to work with these kids as a direct provider was made in ignorance, with little knowledge of the benefits to exercise and the capability of these kids. I also think it's crazy to say that only those that make a financial sacrifice can get a service that is provided to every public school student.


This petition made change with 192 supporters!

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