Imposes New Mandate without Acknowledging Current Barriers
- Would have required all classroom-based charter schools to provide one free or reduced price meal to an eligible student each day.
- As the bill moved forward, amendments to the bill define a delayed implementation schedule.
Impact on Charter Schools
- This bill began with an unspoken premise that some charter schools do not provide a meal to low-income children because they choose not to. This does not acknowledge the profound challenges charter schools face in providing a meal program.
- Would have imposed a new cost on already underfunded charter schools, meaning more money must come out of the classroom.
- The Bureau of State Audits (BSA) released a report in 2010 on nutrition programs in charter schools. Despite a lack of clear data from the California Department of Education, the BSA found that many classroom-based charter schools do provide meals.
- Of those who aren't, over half are in facilities that do not have kitchens and do not have the resources to install a commercial-grade kitchen or move into a facility with such a kitchen.
- CCSA is not opposed to the policy behind providing needy students a free or reduced price lunch; we were opposed to the bill on practical grounds until facility and cost issues are addressed.
CCSA Action & What You Can (and Did!) Do
- CCSA strongly opposes this bill and advocated against it in Sacramento
- Governor Brown's veto of the bill, while acknowledging the importance of pupil nutrition, emphasized the importance of charter school autonomy and flexibility
- Educate yourself and read the BSA report on charter school nutrition programs
- Email your questions about this bill to firstname.lastname@example.org