FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH IN K-12 PUB. SCHOOLS.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 947 (Public) Filed Thursday, April 25, 2019
AN ACT TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO PROVIDE FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH TO STUDENTS ATTENDING K-12 PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
Intro. by Brockman, Quick, Autry.

Status: Ref to the Com on Appropriations, Education, if favorable, Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House (House action) (Apr 26 2019)
H 947

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Apr 25 2019 - More information

    Amends GS 115C-263 (Required provision of services), requiring local boards of education to provide school nutrition services in schools in their jurisdiction, including breakfasts and lunch at no cost to students (currently, requires local boards to provide school food services to the extent practicable). Requires all school nutrition services be in accordance with the standards and regulations established by the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (currently, requires services to be in accordance with the standards and regulations recommended by the Superintendent of Public Instruction and approved by the State Board of Education). Makes conforming changes.

    Amends GS 115C-264 (Operation), requiring public schools to participate in the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program established by the federal government and administered by the Department of Public Instruction (currently, only requires participation in the National School Lunch Program and does not specify administration). Places the program under the jurisdiction of the Division of Safe and Healthy Schools Support, School Nutrition Services, of the Department of Public Instruction (DPI; currently, under the jurisdiction of the Division of School Support, Child Nutrition Services, of DPI, and required the program be in accordance with guidelines established by the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture). Adds new provisions directing DPI to allocate sufficient supplementary funds to the local school administrative units to provide free breakfast for every student who elects to receive free breakfast, and free lunch to every student who elects to receive free lunch. Provides that these supplementary funds must be sufficient, taking into account other federal assistance, to ensure that each local school administrative unit is compensated for each participating student up to the federal free meal reimbursement rate. Requires any earnings over the cost of operation of school nutrition services to be used to reduce the cost of food, serve healthier food (currently, serve better food), or provide free breakfast and lunch to students. Clarifies that "cost of operation" means the actual cost incurred in the purchase and preparation of food, the salaries of all personnel directly employed (currently, directly engaged) in providing school nutrition services, and the cost of nonfood supplies. Changes the definition of personnel to mean persons employed in the operation of the school nutrition program in the local school administrative unit (currently, means child nutrition supervisors or directors, bookkeepers directly engaged in food service record keeping, and those persons directly involved in preparing and serving food). Deletes the requirement that any cost incurred in the provision and maintenance of school fund services over and beyond the cost of operation must be included in the budget request filed annually by local boards of education with boards of county commissioners. Makes conforming changes.

    Enacts GS 115C-218.4 (Charter school nutrition), allowing charter schools to provide school nutrition services for enrolled students by participating in the federally assisted school nutrition programs. Requires all school nutrition services to meet the same standards and regulations described in GS 115C-263, as amended. Directs DPI to allocate sufficient supplementary funds to the charter school to provide free breakfast for every student who elects to receive free breakfast, and free lunch to every student who elects to receive free lunch. Provides that these supplementary funds must be sufficient, taking into account other federal assistance or programs operated by a local unit, to ensure that the charter school is compensated for each participating student up to the federal free meal reimbursement rate. Amends GS 115C-75.9 to require 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). Sets out additional provisions identical to those in GS 115C-218.4 for charter schools. Amends GS 115C-238.72 to require a local school administrative unit identified by resolution to provide school food services to the regional school; no longer limits this requirement to the extent practicable, and requires that it be done in accordance with GS 115C-263. Requires the Department of Public Instruction to allocate supplementary funds to the unit to include eligible students enrolled in the regional school. Makes conforming changes. Amends GS 116-239.8 to require the laboratory school's provision of food services be according to GS 115C-263. Requires the local school administrative until in which the laboratory school is located to administer the School Breakfast Program, in addition to the already required National School Lunch Program for the school. Requires the Department of Public Instruction to allocate supplementary funds to the unit to include eligible students enrolled in the laboratory school.  

    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, defined as local school units, innovative high schools, regional schools, charter schools, and UNC laboratory schools. 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, 2020, to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee a report documenting and evaluating the administration, implementation, and enforcement of new Part 4. Adds that the State Board must 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, 2019.

    Appropriates $200 million in nonrecurring funds from the General Fund to DPI for the 2019-20 fiscal year to provide free breakfast and lunches to students in public schools for the 2019-20 school year, and $200 million in recurring funds for the 2020-21 school year to supplement the Fund.

    Effective July 1, 2019, and applies beginning with the 2019-20 school year. 


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