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AB-1781 School meals: free or reduced-priced meals.(2011-2012)

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AB1781:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1781


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Brownley

February 21, 2012


An act to amend Section 49557 of the Education Code, relating to school meals.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1781, as introduced, Brownley. School meals: free or reduced-priced meals.
Existing law requires each school district and county superintendent of schools maintaining kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, to provide for each needy pupil one nutritionally adequate, free or reduced-price meal during each schoolday. Existing law requires the governing board of each school district and county superintendent to formulate a plan that, among other things, will ensure that children eligible to receive free or reduced priced meals and milk shall not be treated differently than other children.
This bill would require the governing board of each school district and county superintendent of schools to include, as part of that plan, a provision to ensure that during meal times, children shall be able to receive a free or reduced-price meal at any serving line that the school food services program operates, manages, or from which the school food services program receives revenue. By imposing this additional duty on school districts, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) In the State of California, one in nine children and one in three teens are overweight or obese.
(b) Obesity costs California an estimated $41 billion a year in medical costs and lost productivity.
(c) Healthy eating plays an important role in learning and cognitive development. Children who do not get adequate nutrients have lower academic test scores.
(d) Because children spend approximately one-third of their day at school, schools play an important role in children’s ability to acquire adequate nutrients.
(e) California requires that a free or reduced-price nutritious meal be available for low-income pupils enrolled in public K-12 schools.
(f) Pupils who do not participate in the meal program are missing out on the health and nutrition benefits of the complete, balanced school meal.
(g) To decrease stigmatization of low-income pupils in the cafeteria, support participation in the meal program, increase revenue from federal reimbursements, and bring the benefits of school meals to more pupils, at least one reimbursable meal option must be made available at all service lines and points of sale during the operation of federal meal programs at K-12 public schools.

SEC. 2.

 Section 49557 of the Education Code is amended to read:

49557.
 (a) (1) The governing board of a school district and the county superintendent of schools shall make applications for free or reduced price reduced–price meals available to students at all times during each regular schoolday. The application shall contain, in at least 8-point boldface type, each of the following statements:

(1)

(A) Applications for free and reduced price reduced–price meals may be submitted at any time during a schoolday.

(2)

(B) Children participating in the National School Lunch Program will not be overtly identified by the use of special tokens, special tickets, special serving lines, separate entrances, separate dining areas, or by any other means.

A

(2) A school district and the county superintendent of schools shall use all other applications it has for free or reduced price reduced–price meals before utilizing the applications pursuant to this subdivision.
(b) The governing board of each school district and each county superintendent of schools shall formulate a plan, which shall be mailed to the State Department of Education for its approval, that will ensure that children eligible to receive free or reduced priced reduced–price meals and milk shall not be treated differently from other children. These plans shall ensure each of the following:
(1) Unless otherwise specified, the names of the children shall not be published, posted, or announced in any manner, or used for any other purpose other than the National School Lunch Program.
(2) There shall be no overt identification of any of the children by the use of special tokens or tickets or by any other means.
(3) The children shall not be required to work for their meals or milk.
(4) The children shall not be required to use a separate dining area, go through a separate serving line, enter the dining area through a separate entrance, or consume their meals or milk at a different time.
(5) During meal times, the children shall be able to receive a free or reduced-price meal at any serving line that the school food services program operates, manages, or from which the school food services program receives revenue.
(c) When more than one lunch or breakfast or type of milk is offered pursuant to this article, the children shall have the same choice of meals or milk that is available to those children who pay the full price for their meal or milk.

SEC. 3.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.