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AB-1871 Charter schools: free and reduced-price meals.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/20/2018 04:00 AM
AB1871:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 19, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 14, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1871


Introduced by Assembly Member Bonta
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Chiu and Cristina Garcia)

January 16, 2018


An act to add Section 47613.5 to the Education Code, relating to charter schools.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1871, as amended, Bonta. Charter schools: free and reduced-price meals.
(1) Existing law requires each school district or county superintendent of schools maintaining any 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, and authorizes them to use funds made available through any federal or state program the purpose of which includes the provision of meals to a pupil, including the federal School Breakfast Program, the federal National School Lunch Program, the federal Summer Food Service Program, the federal Seamless Summer Option, or the state meal program, or to provide those meals at the expense of the school district or county office of education.
Existing law, the Charter Schools Act of 1992, provides for the establishment and operation of charter schools, and exempts charter schools from the laws governing school districts, except as specified.
This bill would require a charter school school, other than an exclusively virtual school, as defined, to provide each needy pupil with one nutritionally adequate free or reduced-price meal during each schoolday. schoolday, as defined. To the extent this bill would impose additional duties on charter school officials, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) 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 the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Despite cultivating one of the world’s largest economies, California’s child poverty rate is the highest in the nation.
(2) Poverty hurts children, hampering their health, development, and opportunities for success. Substantial research links poverty to poor academic achievement.
(3) California’s extraordinarily high costs of living force many families to choose between basic needs such as food, medicine, and rent. More than 4.6 million Californians cannot consistently afford enough food.
(4) In 1975, California recognized that low-income pupils should be guaranteed at least one free or reduced-price meal during the schoolday to support health, growth, and learning. In the four decades since, the landscape of public education has changed, but the need for school meals has not.
(5) California is now home to the most charter schools and charter school pupils in the country, enrolling more than 630,000 pupils in charter schools, including an estimated 27,000 new charter school pupils in the 2017–18 school year.
(6) More than 340,000 of California’s charter school pupils are low income, but none is guaranteed access to a school meal. Charter schools are California’s only public schools that are exempt from offering low-income pupils a daily, free or reduced-price, nutritious school meal.
(7) As charter schools continue to grow across California, so will the number of low-income, public school pupils who do not have equitable access to free or reduced-price meals.
(8) There are many proven strategies for all public schools, including charter schools, to effectively and efficiently provide pupils with nutritious free or reduced-price meals. Upholding the importance of independence, flexibility, and local control in public education, stakeholders are encouraged to consider a range of options, including partnerships between charter schools and school districts, to best meet the nutritional needs of their respective students.
(9) School meals are essential to supporting the academic achievement and fundamental well-being of all pupils, particularly low-income pupils who do not otherwise have adequate access to nutritious meals.
(b) Because hungry children struggle to learn, grow, and achieve, it is the intent of the Legislature that all California public schools, including charter schools, provide for each needy pupil one nutritionally adequate free or reduced-price meal during each schoolday.

SEC. 2.

 Section 47613.5 is added to the Education Code, to read:

47613.5.
 (a) A charter school shall provide each needy pupil, as defined in Section 49552, with one nutritionally adequate free or reduced-price meal, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 49553, during each schoolday. schoolday, as defined in subdivision (d).
(b) This section does not apply to a charter school that offers exclusively non-classroom-based or non-site-based instruction. This section does not require a charter school that offers both classroom-based or site-based instruction and non-classroom-based or non-site-based instruction to provide a meal to pupils enrolled in exclusively non-classroom-based or non-site-based instruction. is an exclusively virtual school, as defined in subdivision (d).
(c) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a charter school shall implement this section commencing with the 2019–20 school year.
(2) A charter school that becomes operational on or after July 1, 2019, shall implement this section when the school begins operation.
(d) For purposes of this section:
(1) An “exclusively virtual school” is a school that has no physical location where pupils may meet with each other or with teachers and that provides online instruction only.
(2) A “schoolday” is a day during which pupils are in attendance for any part of that day.

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.