Archbold, OH

Body Mass Testing, Another Unfunded Mandate

An unfunded mandate is when a higher level of government tells a lower level of government it must do something, but the higher level of government won’t pay the bill.

Case in point: Body Mass Index, or BMI testing.

The State of Ohio wants schools to weigh and measure kindergarteners, plus third, fifth, and ninth graders, then calculate each student’s body mass index. BMI can then be used to tell if a student is underweight, a healthy weight, overweight, or obese.

The state is requiring schools to conduct BMI testing, paid for by the local school district.

Columbus apparently didn’t get the memo: the economy took a dive, and everybody’s strapped for cash. Now is not the time to saddle schools with another requirement they must fund with scarce local dollars.

BMI testing is a noble cause, but isn’t it the parents’ job to notice if their child is too thin or too heavy? Schools already do vision and hearing screening– why this, too?

The Archbold School Board took the option to wait a year before implementing the program. Hopefully, by that time, the state legislature will repeal BMI testing.

The money in our district is needed elsewhere.

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