Amends GS 115C-263 to require local boards of education to provide school nutrition services (was, to the extent practicable, school food services) in the schools under their jurisdiction. Specifies that the meals include free breakfast and lunch. Requires the services to be in accordance with standards and regulations established by the Food and Nutrition Service of the US Department of Agriculture (was, recommend by the Superintendent of Public Instruction and approved by the State Board of Education).
Amends GS 115C-264 to also require public school units to participate in the School Breakfast Program in addition to the National School Lunch Program. Changes who has jurisdiction over the program to the Division of Safe and Health Schools Support, School Nutrition Services. Requires the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to allocate sufficient supplementary funds to public school units to provide free breakfast or free lunch for every student electing to receive it. Requires, taking into account funds provided toward the cost of breakfast and lunch for students federal programs or programs operated by a public school unit, that supplementary funds from DPI be sufficient to ensure that each public school unit is compensated for each participating student up to the federal free meal reimbursement rate. Requires that school nutrition services earnings that is over operation costs be used to reduce food costs, serve healthier food (was, better food), or to provide free breakfast and lunch (removes reference to providing reduced price lunches to indigent children). Expands the definition of personnel to mean persons directly employed in the operation of the school nutrition program. Deletes the requirement that any cost incurred in the provisions and maintenance of school food services over and beyond the cost of operation be included in the budget request filed annually by local boards of education with boards of county commissioners. Makes clarifying and conforming changes.
Enacts new GS 115C-218.4 allowing a charter school to provide school nutrition services to enrolled students though participation in federally assisted school nutrition programs. Requires the services to meet the standards in GS 115C-263 (as amended above).
Amends GS 115C-75.9 by requiring innovative schools to provide school nutrition services for enrolled students by participating in federally assisted school nutrition programs (was, must participate in the National School Lunch Program). Requires the services to meet the standards in GS 115C-263 (as amended above).
Amends GS 115C-238.72 to require the specified local school administrative unit to provide school food services to the regional school according to GS 115C-263 (was, limited to the extent that it was practicable). Requires the local school administrative unit to include eligible students enrolled in the regional school.
Amends GS 115C-150.14 to require schools for students with visual and hearing impairments to provide school nutrition services to enrolled students though participation in federally assisted school nutrition programs. Requires the services to meet the standards in GS 115C-263 (as amended above).
Amends GS 116-239.8 to require that laboratory schools provide enrolled students with school nutrition services though participation in federally assisted school nutrition programs. Requires the services to meet the standards in GS 115C-263 (as amended above). Makes conforming changes to also include the School Breakfast Program.
Enacts new Part 4, The North Carolina School Breakfast and Lunch Fund, in Article 17 of GS Chapter 115C.
New GS 115C-266 establishes the NC School Breakfast and Lunch Fund (Fund) to provide financing for breakfast and lunch for students in public school units. Requires the Fund to pay for all expenses for administering the Fund. Provides that any interest generated by the Fund is credited to the Fund. Directs the State Board of Education (State Board) to administer the Fund through DPI. Directs designations made to the Fund by individual taxpayers pursuant to GS 105-159.3 (as enacted) and any voluntary donations made directly to the Fund to be deposited in the Fund. Directs the State Board to annually provide, beginning December 15, 2021, to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee a report documenting and evaluating the administration, implementation, and enforcement of new Part 4. Requires the State Board to set forth all funds received to date and the expected needs of the Fund in the next school year.
New GS 115C-267 sets out provisions for the administration of the Fund. Requires each participating public school unit to survey its students to determine how many students elect to receive free breakfast or lunch and report the information to DPI within 30 days of the beginning of each school year. Requires DPI to reimburse the public school unit from the Fund within 30 business days of receipt of a request for reimbursement for breakfast or lunch. Sets out further requirements concerning reimbursement. Requires the State Board to use additional State funds provided for funding any shortfall in the Fund for purposes of funding breakfasts and lunches for students electing to receive the meals.
Enacts GS 105-159.3, requiring the Department of Revenue to allocate to the Fund $3 from the income taxes paid each year by each individual with an income tax liability of at least that amount if the individual agrees. Requires that a taxpayer be given the opportunity to agree or object to that allocation, and requires that each individual must have the option to agree or object to the allocation in the case of a married couple filing a joint return. Details information that must be clearly stated to the taxpayer on individual income tax returns regarding this opportunity. Requires the Department to consult with the State Board to ensure that the information given to taxpayers complies with the intent of the statute. Prohibits any software package used in preparing NC income tax returns to default to an agreement or objection of this opportunity to allocate the $3 of the individual's income tax liability to the Fund. Prohibits a paid preparer of tax returns from marking an agreement or objection for a taxpayer without the taxpayer's consent. Sets forth an explanatory statement that must be included in the instruction for individual income tax returns. Effective for taxes imposed for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2021.
Appropriates $200 million in nonrecurring funds from the General Fund to DPI for the 2021-22 fiscal year to provide free breakfast and lunches to students in public schools for the 2021-22 school year, and $200 million in recurring funds for the 2022-23 school year to supplement the Fund.
Effective July 1, 2021, and applies beginning with the 2021-22 school year.
Bill H 550 (2021-2022)Summary date: Apr 13 2021 - View summary