BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                                                                       AB 292

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          292 (Santiago)

          As Amended  June 2, 2015

          Majority vote

          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                 |Noes                 |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |Education       |5-1   |O'Donnell, Chávez,   |Kim                  |
          |                |      |McCarty, Santiago,   |                     |
          |                |      |Weber                |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |Appropriations  |12-4  |Gomez, Bonta,        |Bigelow, Gallagher,  |
          |                |      |Calderon, Daly,      |Jones, Wagner        |
          |                |      |Eggman,              |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |                |      |Eduardo Garcia,      |                     |
          |                |      |Gordon, Holden,      |                     |
          |                |      |Quirk, Rendon,       |                     |
          |                |      |Weber, Wood          |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |

          SUMMARY:  Requires school districts to ensure that there is adequate time  
          to eat lunch after the meal is served to students.  Specifically,  


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          this bill:  

          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 and state law. 

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, unknown General Fund/Proposition 98 (1988) 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:  According to the author, "Lunch periods provide a  
          much-needed time for students to take a break and refuel their  
          bodies.  For many low-income students, school lunch may be the  
          most nutritious meal of the day.  Unfortunately, California  


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          students frequently miss out on the full benefits of school lunch  
          because they don't have enough time to eat.  Time pressures at  
          lunch can result in food waste and poor nutrition.  The CDE  
          recommends that students have 20 minutes to eat after receiving  
          their lunches, but many schools are not meeting that  
          recommendation.  A 2013 CDE survey of over 1,000 school principals  
          found that only 24.9% of elementary schools and 8.2% of  
          middle/high schools had policies at the site or district level  
          specifying an amount of time that students have to eat.  When  
          asked to estimate the amount of time the last student in line has  
          to eat during the lunch period, only 28.1% of elementary  
          principals and 44.8% of middle/high school principals reported  
          that they were provided at least 20 minutes to eat."

          Further the author states, "In 1990, Los Angeles Unified School  
          District (LAUSD) established guidelines to ensure that the last  
          child in the lunch line be given no less than 20 minutes to eat  
          lunch at school after being served.  However, in 2012, LAUSD's  
          board found that only 49% of elementary and 29% of high schools in  
          LAUSD gave pupils the required time to eat, and since has  
          developed a subsequent resolution to address this." 

          What is adequate time to eat?  The CDE, in the 2006 report "School  
          Nutrition? by Design," specifies that one strategy for increasing  
          student participation in school lunch is, "scheduling sufficient  
          time to enable students to eat after being served - no less than  
          10 minutes for breakfast and no less than 20 minutes for lunch."   
          This bill states that the CDE specifies adequate time to eat after  
          being served to be 20 minutes.  Adding this element in statute  
          will allow CDE to define adequate time in regulations and to  
          develop different options for schools to consider as they work to  
          ensure every student has time to eat lunch.  Currently, the  
          following states have policies in place that require all schools  
          to provide students with adequate time to eat:  Colorado,  
          Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Mississippi, New  
          Mexico, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.   


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          Scheduling:  If a school does not currently provide adequate time  
          to eat, the school, in consultation with the district, will be  
          required to identify and develop a plan to implement ways to  
          increase the time available to eat.  A range of solutions could be  
          implemented to increase the time available to eat.  Some solutions  
          include increasing the length of the school day, increasing the  
          number of tables available, increasing the number of lunch  
          periods, and increasing the number of lunch lines. 

          Unintended Consequences:  There could be some potential unintended  
          consequences in implementing this bill.  If the school determines  
          that the school day must be lengthened to accommodate a longer  
          lunch period, what are the collective bargaining implications?   
          This bill creates a mandate; would the cost of lengthening the  
          school day be reimbursable?  If a school provides 20 minutes to  
          eat, but some children only require 10 minutes to eat, will they  
          be required to sit at the lunch table for the entire 20 minutes  
          when it may not be practical to require children to sit the extra  
          time?  The Assembly should consider how this bill will be  
          implemented and the unintended consequences. 

          Charter Schools:  While charter schools are not required to  
          provide school meals, some choose to provide school lunch.  The  
          Assembly may wish to consider whether to include charter schools,  
          which currently choose to provide school lunch, in this  

          Arguments in Support:  The California Food Policy Advocates  
          sponsors this bill and states, "AB 292 would bring California up  
          to speed with the nine other states and the District of Columbia  
          that have policies in place requiring adequate time to eat lunch  
          at school.  California currently has no state statute that  
          guarantees an adequate meal break for students; however, state  
          labor law ensures a minimum 30-minute, uninterrupted meal break  
          for employees.  California should ensure that its hard-working  


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          students are given the time they need to eat during the school  

          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
          Chelsea Kelley / ED. / (916) 319-2087  FN: 0000815