JEFFERSON CITY - In a bill reaching more than 11,000 words, Missouri's House Tuesday rejected adding a provision to assure course credit for ballroom dancing,
The ballroom dancing idea initially had been raised in a separate bill sponsored by Rep. Tim Flook, R-Liberty. His bill would add ballroom dancing into the physical education curriculum in Missouri.
But when an amendment was proposed to add his idea to the omnibus education bill, Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield, raised concerns about whether the issue should be decided by Missouri statute and if it would raise students' heart rates high enough to be a suitable replacement for physical education.
"This has to be about kids becoming more physically fit," Lampe said.
"It (ballroom dancing) got my heart rate up," said amendment sponsor Jerry Nolte, R-Gladstone. "But maybe it's because I was close to a girl for a change."
The amendment was rejected by an overwhelming vote.
"Let's allow the state board of education, along with DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education), to decide this (curriculum)," said Rep. Doug Ervin, R-Holt.
The House adjourned for the night before acting on another amendment proposed to the bill that would give parents the right to move the children to public schools outside of their residence.
The amendment was proposed by Rep. Scott Dieckhaus, R-Washington.
He said he isn't okay with telling parents they have to send their children to a run-down school because they can't afford to move or send them to a private school.
"I'm not okay with promoting the status quo," Dieckhaus said.
But the House Education Committee chair, Rep. Maynard Wallace, R-Thornfield, argued that letting parents move out of the district of their residence had undercut the St. Louis city school system.
"The people that will leave the school district are the people that need to be there to help improve it," Wallace said.
Rep. Stephen Webber, D-Columbia, questioned Dieckhaus on how he planned to prevent coaches from recruiting athletes that fall in other school districts.
Dieckhouse said it will happen no matter what but athletes must wait one full year after transferring until they can play sports at their new schools.
The House adjourned before taking a vote on the amendment.