TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida schools can comply with the state's new recess mandate without having to take children outside.

The Florida Department of Education on Friday told school superintendents that there's nothing in a new state law that dictates where recess must take place.

State legislators earlier this year passed a law that requires elementary schools to set aside 20 minutes each day for "free-play recess" although charter schools were exempted.

For the past two years mothers of school children pushed for recess, saying children need a break from schoolwork.

Department officials sent a memo to superintendents asking them to report to the state by Sept. 1 whether or not they are complying with the new mandate.

That memo also urged districts to establish weather guidelines to ensure student safety.