Bill would bring meals to needy charter school students

Calif. bill under review would require similar meal standards as public schools.

March 29—Charter schools in Calif. could soon be subject to the same free and reduced-price meal mandate as public schools if a new state bill gets its way. The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Mike Eng, D-Alhambra, "levels the playing field so children, whether in public or charter school, will have the same advantages that will lead to classroom performance, higher test scores and lower obesity rates,” Eng says in an article from California Watch. The bill is being debated by the state Assembly Education Committee.

Charter schools are exempt from many state meal requirements, including the state law that says public schools “need to provide each needy pupil one nutritionally adequate free or reduced-price meal during each schoolday.”

According to a 2010 state audit, about 18% of classroom-based California charter schools don’t offer low-income students breakfast or lunch, though needy children attend charter schools at about the same rate as traditional public schools. The audit also reported that 39 charter schools spanning the state, from Ukiah to Bakersfield and San Diego, did not serve any meals at all.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
unsung heroes graphic

Febin Bellamy, a senior at Georgetown University, is the founder of Unsung Heroes, a nonprofit that features service workers on college campuses in man-on-the-street-style Facebook interviews. This year, Bellamy is working with a dozen schools to launch their own chapters of the storytelling platform. Here’s what he’s learned about staff shoutouts.

Q: Why did you decide to start Unsung Heroes?

A: One day I started a conversation with a custodial worker in the business school that I would see all the time. I learned that we had a lot of similarities; for instance, we both wanted to...

Ideas and Innovation
chicken and waffles

Our elementary menu is currently riding the breakfast-anytime advertising trend by offering Breakfast for Lunch every Tuesday. It ranks as our highest participation, and it was a great way for us to introduce chicken and waffles inspired by an IHOP dish.

Ideas and Innovation
rolling silverware

Ensuring that employees regularly complete the busywork missing from their daily checklist can be a challenge, but these tasks often help an operation run efficiently with fewer unexpected costs. At Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Regional Executive Chef Dustin Cochran has found a solution to ensure his walk-in coolers always have a clean vent. Cochran starts with a thorough cleaning of the vent, then slips a hairnet over it to catch the dust. Instead of getting employees to deep clean the vents, they need only replace the hairnet.

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

FSD Resources