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HB24-1390

School Food Programs

Concerning measures to support certain school food programs in the department of education, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing an appropriation.
Session:
2024 Regular Session
Subject:
Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)
Bill Summary

Joint Budget Committee. The bill requires the department of education (department) to apply to the United States department of agriculture for a statewide community eligibility provision if the department determines participation in a statewide community eligibility provision will maximize federal funding.

The bill requires the department to annually establish options for, and communicate the options to, school food authorities to maximize federal funding. A school food authority that chooses an option other than those established by the department will not receive healthy school meals for all program (program) funding and must use other eligible funding sources to cover the costs of serving free meals to all students at the schools of the school food authority.

The bill delays the implementation of the local food purchasing grant, the wage increase or stipend program for school meals food preparation and service employees (wage increase or stipend program), and the local school food purchasing technical assistance and education grant program until the 2025-26 budget year.

The bill requires the department to create a policy for school food authorities to maximize the collection of household income application forms for the national school lunch program to increase federal funding for the program. School food authorities that choose to participate in the program shall apply the policy to maximize the collection of household income application forms.

The bill creates the healthy school meals for all program cash fund (cash fund). On July 1, 2024, the state treasurer shall transfer the balance of the healthy school meals for all program general fund exempt account to the cash fund.

The bill creates the healthy school meals for all program technical advisory group (advisory group). As soon as practicable, the department shall convene the advisory group. The advisory group shall collaborate with school districts, the office of state planning and budgeting, and other interested parties to:

  • Identify ways to maximize federal reimbursements;
  • Reduce costs of the program;
  • Review cost-savings options, including minimizing food waste;
  • Strengthen the long-term resiliency of the healthy school meals for all cash fund;
  • Create model revenue scenarios;
  • Provide options and recommendations to balance program revenues and expenditures; and
  • Draft a report with legislative and administrative recommendations and submit it to the education committees of the house of representatives and the senate, or any successor committees; the joint budget committee; the state board of education; and the governor.

On January 1, 2024, the local school food purchasing program (purchasing program) and the local school food purchasing technical assistance and education grant program (grant program) repealed. The bill recreates the purchasing program and the grant program, and extends the programs through the 2024-25 budget year.

The bill eliminates the authorization for department expenditures in excess of the appropriated amount to participating school food authorities for the wage increase or stipend program.

The bill amends appropriations related to the program, the purchasing program, and the grant program in the general appropriations act for the 2024-25 state fiscal year. Senate Bill 23-221, enacted in 2023, appropriated money from the general fund for the program. The bill amends this appropriation so that the money for the program is appropriated from the state education fund created in section 17(4) of article IX of the state constitution.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status

Introduced
Passed
Became Law

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Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details