BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 1413
                                                                  Page  1

          SB 1413 (Leno)
          As Amended  August 2, 2010
          Majority vote 

           SENATE VOTE  :21-13  
           EDUCATION           6-2                                         
          |Ayes:|Brownley, Ammiano,        |     |                          |
          |     |Arambula, Carter, Eng,    |     |                          |
          |     |Torlakson                 |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |Nays:|Nestande, Miller          |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |

          SUMMARY:  Requires school districts to provide students with  
          access to free drinking water beginning July 1, 2011.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Requires by July 1, 2011, a school district to provide access  
            to free, fresh drinking water during meal times in the food  
            service areas of the schools under its jurisdiction,  
            including, but not necessarily limited to, areas where  
            reimbursable meals under the National School Lunch Program  
            (NSLP) or the federal School Breakfast Program are served or  

          2)Specifies that school districts may comply, among other means,  
            by providing cups and containers of water or soliciting or  
            receiving donated bottled water.

          3)Authorizes a school district to opt-out of this requirement by  
            adoption of a school district governing board resolution  
            demonstrating the reasons why it is unable to comply with the  
            requirements due to fiscal constraints or health and safety  
            concerns; and, requires the resolution to be publicly noticed  
            on at least two consecutive board meeting agendas, first as an  
            information item and second as an action item, and approved by  
            a majority of the board.


                                                                  SB 1413
                                                                  Page  2

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  This bill is keyed non-fiscal.
          COMMENTS  :  This bill requires school district to provide access  
          to free drinking water in food service areas during meal time,  
          and authorizes districts to opt-out of this requirement by  
          passing a board resolution that demonstrates why the school  
          district cannot comply due to fiscal constraints or health and  
          safety concerns.

          SB 965 (Escutia), Chapter 237, Statutes of 2005, created  
          specific standards regarding the types of beverages sold in  
          California schools.  One of the allowable beverages under SB 965  
          is bottled water without added sweetener.  According to the  
          California Department of Education (CDE), SB 965 sets clear  
          nutrition standards on what is sold by schools, and would not  
          affect a district's ability to offer free tap water in their  

          While conducting a study, the RAND Corporation learned that some  
          school administrators and school employees have the perception  
          that a school cannot provide free bottled water because of  
          existing district contracts for the sale of bottled water.  RAND  
          researchers also learned that some school employees also had the  
          perception that schools could not provide free tap water in the  
          area where the NSLP meal is being served because of the federal  
          government's definition of a reimbursable school meal, which  
          includes milk as the beverage.  According to CDE, the  
          distinction is made between "offer vs. serve."  Schools must  
          "offer" milk as part of the reimbursable school meal program,  
          but that does not in any way prohibit schools from also offering  
          water in the area where the NSLP meal is being served.

          Some school employees also indicated to RAND researchers their  
          concerns about needing appropriate staff resources to facilitate  
          providing free tap water to students during meal times,  
          including the possibility of the following duties: filling water  
          pitchers, replacing five gallon water jugs, supplying  
          appropriate cups, etc.    

          According to RAND, Berkeley Unified School District provides  
          filtered tap water for students during lunch in schools  
          district-wide.  Each school eating area has a five gallon water  
          container that is refilled each day with filtered tap water and  
          the school provides cups for students to use. 


                                                                  SB 1413
                                                                  Page  3

          According to the author, many California schools currently do  
          not provide drinking water in food service areas, where students  
          eat their meals.  Studies show that water consumption and  
          adequate hydration in schools can help fight obesity and can  
          even improve cognitive function and student academic  

          According to the California Food Policy Advocates, kids need to  
          drink water for good health and learning.  The Institute of  
          Medicine recommends the consumption of water with meals.  The  
          Surgeon General promotes drinking water as an obesity prevention  
          strategy.  Meeting students' needs for adequate supplies of  
          fresh, safe drinking water should not be dependent upon kids'  
          financial ability to purchase bottled water at school nor their  
          prospect of carting jugs of drinking water from home.  A recent  
          survey found that at least 40% of schools in responding  
          districts reported no access to free drinking water for students  
          during meals.  Many students report inoperable, poorly  
          maintained, and/or unhygienic water fountains on their school  
          sites.  Even where water fountains function, the CDE has  
          acknowledged there are not enough fountains on schools sites.
           Previous Legislation:  AB 2704 (Leno) from 2008, would have  
          prohibited a school district from entering or renewing a  
          contract that restricts the availability of free tap water on  
          the school campus; and, authorized schools to provide free tap  
          water in school food service areas.  AB 2704 was vetoed by the  
          Governor with the following message:

            "This bill authorizes schools to provide free tap water for  
            students in the food service area during the school day.   
            Nothing under current law prohibits a school from providing  
            free tap water to its students.  This bill also prohibits a  
            district from entering into contracts that prohibit the  
            availability of free tap water.  This bill essentially seeks  
            to regulate a perceived lack of common sense amongst  
            California's school administrators, implying that they are  
            not acting in the best interest of our students, by denying  
            kids access to free tap water.  I do no believe this  
            particular bill is necessary.

            Instead of signing this bill, I would much rather work with  
            the Legislature in finding more positive and constructive  


                                                                  SB 1413
                                                                  Page  4

            ways to promote the accessibility and consumption of clean  
            water in our schools."

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Chelsea Kelley / ED. / (916) 319-2087  
          FN: 0005231