Scott M Stringer, Office of New York City Comptroller, reports:

This week my office released a first-of-its-kind report, Dropping the Ball: Disparities in Physical Education in New York City Schools , a school-by-school analysis that reveals inequities in physical education throughout the five boroughs.

Simply put: the Department of Education is leaving too many of our students on the bench when it comes to physical education and is violating state law in the process.

Key findings of our report include:

More than 32 percent of City schools examined do not have a full-time, certified physical education teacher, despite New York State regulations requiring the DOE to provide students in grades 7-12 with a licensed P.E. instructor;

28 percent of schools lack a dedicated physical fitness space, even though the State requires “adequate indoor and outdoor facilities for physical education program[s] at all levels”; and

80 percent of schools that lack a dedicated physical fitness space are co-located.

At a time when more than 1 in 4 New York City schoolchildren aged 5 to 14 is obese or severely obese, the DOE must view P.E. as a necessity, not a luxury. Quality P.E. has been shown to improve academic performance, boost public health, and save taxpayer money.

And yet, we continue to fall short of providing what our kids need and deserve. I know you agree: it’s time to get our schools back in the game.

To see where this work should begin, or see the physical education staffing and resources are at your local school, please visit our online map . You can also learn more about my plan to improve physical education for every child in the New York Daily News , or at CBS New York .

Let’s work together so that all our children have access to high-quality P.E. in their schools.

Scott Stringer Office of the Comptroller, City of New York, One Centre Street, New York, NY 10007,