AUSTIN, TX -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently signed Senate Bill 530 requiring more physical fitness for children in third through 12th grades. The bill requires fitness evaluations to be conducted on the children each year and sent to the Texas Education Agency.

The bill requires middle school students to increase their physical education classes from two semesters to four throughout middle school, beginning in the 2008-09 school year. They can also fulfill these requirements through local sports leagues.

Perry says he is trying to make sure children do not develop unhealthy physical habits at an early age.

“Unhealthy habits at a young age can lead to diabetes, and over time, to heart disease, strokes and even cancer,” Perry says. “Combined with the healthy guidelines that the Texas Department of Agriculture has implemented in the school lunch program, this legislation will help make children healthier today for a healthier Texas tomorrow.”