Partial Government Shutdown Continues as New Congress Begins
The 116th Congress convened last week and the House immediately turned attention to approving an appropriations bill designed to end the partial government shutdown, triggered by the White House’s budget request for $5 billion to expand the southern border wall. The House measure, approved Thursday evening (Jan. 3), did not include funding for wall. The House vote shifts the budget debate back to the Senate where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stated that he will not bring any Fiscal Year 2019 legislation to the Senate floor that does not have the President’s support. Continue reading How will partial federal government shutdown affect K-12 schools, students?
Recently, the U.S. House passed its version of the federal farm bill, including an amendment requiring the Secretary of Agriculture to review the Obama-era federal regulations that set nutrition standards and issue new regulations for school lunch and breakfast programs that will provide greater flexibility to school districts.
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is working to ensure the school nutrition amendment is included in the final version of the farm bill. If your district has specific examples of how the current school nutrition regulations are negatively affecting your school meal programs or student participation, please send them to Dan Rossmiller or Chris Kulow and we will forward this information to the NSBA to use to advocate for the inclusion of the amendment in the final version of the bill. Continue reading School input on lunch regulations requested as Congress finalizes farm bill
Newly confirmed U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced an interim final rule on Monday (May 1) that postpones further sodium reductions in school meals for at least three years, allows schools to serve 1 percent flavored milk, and gives states authority to exempt schools from having to replace all their grain-based products with whole-grain-rich products.
During a visit to a Leesburg, Virginia elementary school to mark School Nutrition Employee Week, Perdue signed a proclamation which he said begins the process of restoring local control of guidelines on whole grains, sodium, and milk. Perdue says the new rule is needed to give schools more flexibility in meeting the strict standards. Others see the measures as an attempt to roll back healthy school lunch standards promoted by former first lady Michelle Obama.
Continue reading USDA Relaxes School Meals Nutrition Rules
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Annysa Johnson:
“Gov. Scott Walker has proposed cutting the office’s now-vacant coordinator position and 15-member advisory council as part of his 2017-’19 budget, a move that would save $132,800 over the biennium.
“Walker’s spokesman, Tom Evenson, said the agency would continue to seek and disburse federal grants targeting farm-to-school efforts, and that another program manager will help out in the office. AmeriCorps workers also will continue to work on farm-to-school initiatives in some low-income schools, he said. Continue reading Governor’s Budget Eliminates Farm to School Position/Council
On Wednesday (May 18), the U.S. House Committee on Education & the Workforce voted to advance a reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, the federal law governing school meals programs. The version advanced by the House committee rolls back some of the healthy schools meal standards First Lady Michelle Obama has championed. It was approved on a largely partisan 20 to 14 vote (one Republican and all Democrats voting against).
Continue reading House Committee Approves Rewrite of Federal School Meals Laws
Gov. Scott Walker signed 30 bills into law this morning in the Capitol. Among those bills were: Continue reading Governor Signs Several School-Related Bills into Law