BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                              Senator Carol Liu, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:              AB 292            
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          |Author:    |Santiago                                             |
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          |Version:   |June 2, 2015                                Hearing  |
          |           |Date:   July 8, 2015                                 |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes             |
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          |Consultant:|Lynn Lorber                                          |
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          Subject:  Pupil nutrition:  free or reduced-price meals:   
          adequate time to eat

            SUMMARY
          
          This bill requires school districts to ensure that each of their  
          schools provide students adequate time to eat after being served  
          a meal, and requires schools that do not provide students with  
          adequate time to eat to develop a plan to increase students'  
          time to eat lunch.  

            BACKGROUND
          
          Current law requires each school district or county  
          superintendent of schools serving kindergarten or any of grades  
          1 to 12, to provide for each needy student one nutritionally  
          adequate free or reduced-price meal during each schoolday.  
          (Education Code  49550)

           ANALYSIS
          
          This bill requires school districts to ensure that schools  
          provide students adequate time to eat after being served.   
          Specifically, this bill:

       1)Requires school districts to ensure that each of their schools in  
            their respective jurisdictions makes available to its students  
            adequate time to eat after being served lunch.

       2)States that the California Department of Education specifies that  







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            adequate time to eat lunch is 20 minutes after being served.

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

       4)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  
            allowable costs from that funding source.

       5)States legislative findings and declarations relative to  
            nutritional standards, the benefits of healthy eating, and the  
            need for adequate time to eat.



          STAFF COMMENTS
          
       1)Need for the bill.  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.  In recent  
            years, numerous legislative actions, both state and federal,  
            have improved the nutritional quality of school meals.   
            Unfortunately, students often miss out on the full benefits of  
            school lunch because they do not have adequate time to eat."

       2)Guidance and resources.  This bill states that the California  
            Department of Education (CDE) specifies that the adequate time  
            to eat lunch is 20 minutes after being served.  The  
            Superintendent of Public Instruction issued a letter to  
            schools in January 2013, recommending that each student has at  
            least 10 minutes for breakfast and at least 20 minutes for  
            lunch after being served.  This letter states that research  
            indicates inadequate time to eat discourages students from  
            buying and eating complete lunches.  The letter further states  
            that waiting in line is the most commonly reported factor  
            contributing to student dissatisfaction with lunches. 

       A 2013 survey conducted by CDE of over 1,000 school principals  
            found that just under 25% of elementary schools and 8% of  








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            middle/high schools had policies at the school 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% of  
            elementary principals and just under 45% of middle/high school  
            principals reported that students were provided at least 20  
            minutes to eat.

       The CDE's website includes a list of best practices, examples of  
            ways to determine if a school provides adequate time to eat,  
            examples of how to include adequate time to eat in school  
            wellness policies, and information about the Smarter Lunchroom  
            Movement workshops, Recess Before Lunch, and other resources.   
             http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/sn/timetoeat.asp#smarter  

       3)Existing local policy.  In 1990, the governing board of the Los  
            Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) passed a resolution  
            adopting the Cafeteria Reform Motion, which set goals of  
            increasing student meal participation.  The LAUSD established  
            guidelines which ensure the last child in the food line be  
            given no less than 20 minutes of seat time to eat their meal  
            at lunch, and 10 minutes of seat time for breakfast.  In 2005,  
            LAUSD passed another resolution reaffirming the goals of  
            providing at least 20 minutes of seat time to eat lunch.  On  
            December 11, 2012, the LAUSD board of education approved yet  
            another resolution reaffirming the goals for providing  
            adequate time to eat.  

       4)Fiscal impact.  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
            Committee, this bill would impose unknown General  
            Fund/Proposition 98 state mandated costs, potentially in  
            excess of $1 million.  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  
            bill.

       5)Prior legislation.  AB 2449 (Bocanegra, 2014) was nearly  








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            identical to this bill and was held by the Senate  
            Appropriations Committee.

            SUPPORT
          
          American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
          American Heart Association
          American Stroke Association
          California Black Health Network
          California Catholic Conference of Bishops
          California Food Policy Advocates
          California School Employees Association
          California State PTA
          Children Now
          Los Angeles Unified School District
          National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter

            OPPOSITION
           
           None received.

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