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G.I. No

February 10th, 2010 by flanews

Three fourths of the states young adults are either too fat, too stupid, or have broken too many laws to join the military. The news comes as lawmakers consider cutting millions from Floridas voluntary pre-k program and as Whitney Ray tells us, tens of thousand of students are opting out of P.E.

Floridas youth are too overweight, undereducated, and have broken too many laws to join the armed forces. 1.4 million young Floridians are ineligible for service. Retired Army General Joseph Perugino pleaded with lawmakers to find a fix.

If we dont take action soon, Im afraid we are going to find it harder and harder to identify and recruit the right people to do these jobs we need done, said Perugino.

Criminal records excluded thousands from the service. One in three cant pass the military entrance exams. 33 percent are too out of shape.

The news comes as tens of thousands of Florida elementary and middle school students are opting out of physical education courses. School administrators say healthy lifestyles have to start at home.

I dont think the mandatory P.E. program is really the issue that is going to address the problems we face with obesity in children. I think this has to be an educational push, said MaryEllen Eila, a superintendent of Hillsborough County.

Pre-k classes could help combat some of the military ineligibility problems, but a surge in enrollment and budget cuts are jeopardizing the program. Representative Rich Glorioso says the legislature has to find a way fund early learning.

Whether its VPK, Early learning, or K-12, all those tie in and thats where we can be working at as the state, but its a team effort, if we dont have parent involvement It makes it very difficult as a state to right this wrong, said Glorioso.

But righting the wrong will cost money, at a time when the state has empty pockets. The report is also raising concerns over the number of young Floridians who will be able to meet the physical and mental demands of the civil service test to become, firefighters, police officers, and paramedics.

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