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S.C. Budget Writers Reduce Phys. Ed. Spending by 15 Percent

Members of the South Carolina House are discussing a proposed state budget that slashes physical education spending by 15 percent for fiscal 2011.

The legislators are currently debating a $5.2 billion spending plan that doesn't include any of the $174 million federal bailout money present in last year's budget, according to the Associated Press. To counter the shortfall, the House budget writers suggested tapping $100 million in reserves.

A total of $12 million gets lopped off nearly a dozen school programs, including P.E. and guidance counseling, but the state's Department of Education budget grows enough to devote $25 million towards the expansion of public charter schools.

"It's hard to imagine the districts being able to make up these cuts at the local level," said Scott Price, a lobbyist for the state School Boards Association, according to the AP.

The House approved the $1.9 billion public schools budget "with little debate" on Monday.

Megan Wolfe, who oversees legislative trends for the National Association of Sport and Physical Education, said AP that schools have little incentive to make up the differences in physical education spending if the 15 percent cut is approved.

The House plans on finishing discussions of the budget bill by Thursday and moving it along to the state Senate.

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