BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 292


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          Date of Hearing:  April 15, 2015 


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          AB  
          292 (Santiago) - As Amended April 7, 2015


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   
          Yes


          SUMMARY:  This bill requires school districts to ensure that  
          each school in their jurisdiction make available to students,  
          adequate time to eat after being served lunch. Specifically,  
          this bill:










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          1)Declares that the California Department of Education (CDE)  
            specifies adequate time to eat school lunch as 20 minutes  
            after being served.


          2)Specifies that upon annual review of the bell schedule, if a  
            school determines that it is currently not providing pupils  
            with adequate time to eat, the school, in consultation with  
            the district, shall identify and develop a plan to implement  
            ways to increase pupils' time to eat lunch.


          3)Authorizes the appropriate school food authority, to the  
            extent that funds are available, to use federally or  
            state-regulated nonprofit school food service cafeteria  
            accounts to defray any costs allowable under the federal  
            National School Lunch Program in accordance with that funding  
            source before considering other funding streams. 


          FISCAL EFFECT:   

          Unknown GF/P98 state mandated costs, potentially in excess of $1  
          million.  There are over 1,000 school districts that oversee  
          9,919 schools in California.  Costs claims could include staff  
          time to develop and implement a plan as well as monitoring and  
          data collection to ensure each school is providing adequate time  
          to eat lunch. Depending on the plan, districts may need to  
          purchase equipment and make system upgrades; provide additional  
          points of service or expand the school day to meet an adequate  
          time goal.  Actual costs will depend on the size and types of  
          claims districts submit to the Commission on State Mandates to  
          implement this measure.  

          COMMENTS:   


          Purpose. According to the author, lunch periods provide a  
          much-needed time for students to take a break and refuel their  








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          bodies. For many low-income students, school lunch may be the  
          most nutritious meal of the day.  However, California students  
          frequently miss out on the full benefits of school lunch because  
          they don't have enough time to eat.  This bill seeks to remedy  
          this issue be requiring districts to ensure there is adequate  
          time to eat lunch.


          What is adequate time?  The bill states that CDE specifies  
          adequate time to eat school lunch is 20 minutes after being  
          served.  It is not clear if this is intended to be a guide or a  
          requirement.  Currently several districts are the subject of a  
          class-action lawsuit related to documentation of compliance with  
          the 200 minute physical education requirement.  Districts will  
          need clarity around the adequate time requirements and the  
          expected documentation to prove compliance.  Without such  
          guidance, districts may be subject to litigation challenging  
          non-compliance. 
          
          Offsetting costs. The California Department of Education (CDE)  
          administers the National School Lunch Program, a federally  
          assisted meal program operating in over 100,000 public and  
          nonprofit private schools and residential child care  
          institutions. Federal funds provide the majority of funding for  
          school nutrition programs in California.  According to a recent  
          state audit of child nutrition funding, in fiscal year 2011-12,  
          the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided 92% of the  
          funding for the child nutrition programs, or $1.7 billion, and  
          the state provided the remaining 8%, or $148 million. The  
          National School Lunch Program is the largest component of the  
          child nutrition programs, accounting for more than $1.3  
          billion-or roughly 77%-of the $1.7 billion in federal funds  
          spent in fiscal year 2011-12. 

          This bill authorizes school districts to use federally or  
          state-regulated nonprofit school food service cafeteria accounts  
          to defray any costs allowable under the federal National School  
          Lunch Program in accordance with that funding source before  
          considering other funding streams. CDE is concerned that  








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          encouraging districts to look to their cafeteria account before  
          considering other funding sources could compromise the financial  
          integrity of the cafeteria account and lead to conflict with  
          current CDE policies regarding allowable cafeteria fund charges.  
          Additionally, CDE notes this could put unexpected stress on  
          district general fund sources if disallowed charges to the  
          cafeteria fund are found during a review or audit. 

          CDE recommends the bill be amended to clarify the funds are to  
          be used in accordance with regulations that govern these  
          programs.

          Prior Legislation. AB 2449 (Bocanegra) (2014) was substantially  
          similar to this bill and required school districts and county  
          offices of education (COEs) to ensure that each of their schools  
          provide students adequate time to eat after being served a meal.  
          This bill was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
          





          Analysis Prepared by:Misty Feusahrens / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081