AN ACT TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO PROVIDE FREE LUNCH TO STUDENTS ELIGIBLE FOR REDUCED-PRICE LUNCH AND TO ENACT AN ANTISTIGMATIZATION AND ANTIDISCRIMINATION POLICY IN SCHOOL NUTRITION.
Appropriates $5 million in recurring funds from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for 2019-20 to provide lunch at no cost to any student eligible for reduced-price lunch in a public school unit (local school administrative unit, regional school, charter school, innovative school, or a laboratory school). Sets out the process for allocating the funds. Allows the State Board of Education to authorize funds appropriated to State Aid for Public Schools if these appropriated funds are insufficient to achieve the stated purpose. Requires DPI to include information on the cost of implementing this section in any request to the NCGA for budget adjustments related to enrollment growth.
Enacts new GS 115C-264.5 prohibiting public schools from publicly identifying or stigmatizing a student who cannot pay for a meal or who owes a meal debt, with requiring the student to wear a wristband or hand stamp listed as an example of such prohibited conduct. Requires a school to direct communications about a student's meal debt to a parent or guardian and not the student.
Effective July 1, 2019, and applies beginning with the 2019-20 school year.
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