Bill Text

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

SB-250 Pupil meals: Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017.(2017-2018)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 03/22/2017 09:00 PM
SB250:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 22, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 250


Introduced by Senator Hertzberg

February 07, 2017


An act to add Section 49557.5 to the Education Code, relating to pupil meals.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 250, as amended, Hertzberg. Pupil meals: Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017.
Existing law requires each school district or county superintendent of schools maintaining kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, to provide one nutritionally adequate free or reduced-price meal for each needy pupil during each schoolday, except as specified. Existing law authorizes a school district or county office of education to use funds made available through any applicable federal or state program or to use its own funds to provide the required meals.
This bill would enact the Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017. The act would require certain local educational agencies, as defined, to develop a plan to ensure that a pupil whose parent or guardian has unpaid school meal fees is not shamed or treated differently than a pupil whose parent or guardian does not have unpaid school meal fees. The act would prohibit school personnel and volunteers at a local educational agency required to serve free or reduced-price meals during the schoolday from taking disciplinary action that directly results in denying or delaying a nutritionally adequate meal to a pupil. The act would require a local educational agency to identify families with unpaid school meal fees equal to or greater than the value of 5 full-priced school lunches and, before collecting the unpaid fees, to exhaust all options and methods to directly certify the pupil for free or reduced-price meals, and to reimburse school meal fees paid by a pupil’s parent or guardian when fees were paid or unpaid fees debt accrued when a pupil would have been determined to be eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. To the extent that these provisions would place additional requirements on local educational agencies, the 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 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.

 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017.

SEC. 2.

 It is the intent of the Legislature to prohibit school personnel from using denial or delay of a school meal as a way to punish a child for any reason and to establish transparent rules for resolving school meal fees debt owed by the child’s parent or guardian when the debt has gone unpaid.

SEC. 3.

 Section 49557.5 is added to the Education Code, to read:

49557.5.
 (a) (1) A local educational agency in which there is a school that is required to serve a free or reduced-price meal during the schoolday pursuant to Section 49550 and at which all pupils are not eligible to be served breakfast and lunch under the Community Eligibility Provision or Provision 2 of the federal National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1751 et seq.) shall develop a plan to ensure that a pupil whose parent or guardian has unpaid school meal fees is not shamed or treated differently than a pupil whose parent or guardian does not have unpaid school meal fees.
(2) A local educational agency’s plan shall include an explanation of how staff will be trained to ensure that the policy is carried out correctly and how the affected parents and guardians will be provided with assistance in establishing eligibility for free or reduced-price meals for their children.
(3) The department shall approve in writing a local educational agency’s plan. Once the department has approved the plan, the local educational agency or governing board or body of the local educational agency, as applicable, shall adopt and make the plan public.
(b) School personnel and volunteers at a local educational agency required to serve a free or reduced-price meal during the schoolday pursuant to Section 49550 shall not take disciplinary action that directly results in denying or delaying a nutritionally adequate meal, as defined in Section 49553, to a pupil.
(c) A local educational agency shall not take any action directed at a pupil to collect unpaid school meal fees. A local educational agency may attempt to collect unpaid school meal fees from a parent or guardian, but shall not use a debt collector, as defined in Section 803 of the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1692a).
(d) To prevent a family from paying for a pupil’s unpaid school meal fees when the pupil was eligible for a free or reduced-price meal, a local educational agency shall identify families with unpaid school meal fees equal to or greater than the value of five full-priced school lunches and, before collecting the unpaid fees, shall (1) exhaust all options and methods to directly certify the pupil for free or reduced-price meals and (2), in a case where the local educational agency is not able to directly certify the pupil, provide the parent or guardian with an application and contact the parent or guardian with written and oral communications to encourage application submission.
(e) To the extent that the expense is reimbursable under the federal National School Lunch Program, a local educational agency shall reimburse school meal fees paid by a pupil’s parent or guardian when fees were paid or unpaid fees debt accrued during any time that the pupil would have been determined, as identified by the local educational agency’s review pursuant to subdivision (d), to be eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
(f) For purposes of the this section, “local educational agency” means a school, school district, or county office of education.
(g) Nothing in this section is intended to allow for the indefinite accrual of unpaid school meal fees.

SEC. 4.

 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.