Bill Summary for H 840 (2011-2012)

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Summary date: 

Apr 8 2011

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2011-2012 Session
House Bill 840 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Intro. by Harrison.

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Bill summary

New Article 17A of GS Chapter 115C sets nutritional standards for school meals, promotes local food sourcing, sets minimum physical and health education activities, provides for the development of school gardens and local wellness policies, and establishes the Healthy Schools Fund (fund) to support these activities. The non-reverting Fund would be funded by annual appropriations and administered by the State Board of Education.
In addition to meeting federal nutritional standards, breakfast and lunch meals served to students in public schools must meet standards set forth in the act for maximum saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium. Sets additional requirements for public school meals, including giving students at least 30 minutes to eat, offering free breakfast to all students, and providing meals that meet the dietary needs of children with diagnosed medical conditions. Sets standards for beverages and snack foods provided by or sold through vending machines, fund-raisers, snacks, and after-school programs. Requires each local school administrative unit to establish a facility for preparing, processing, growing, and storing healthy and nutritious foods and requires public disclosure of the ingredients and nutritional content of food menu items. Requires schools to serve locally grown, locally processed, and unprocessed foods from growers engaged in sustainable agriculture practices whenever possible. Requires the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, community organizations, food services providers, and public schools to develop programs to promote the benefits of purchasing and eating locally grown and unprocessed foods from growers engaged in sustainable agriculture practices.
Sets minimum minutes required per week for physical education and health education in public schools and charter schools. Requires students with disabilities to have suitably adapted physical education incorporated in their individualized education plans. Requires the State Board of Education to annually report to the General Assembly on school compliance with physical and health education standards.
Establishes an environmental programs office in DPI to, among other things, develop a master recycling plan for public schools, analyze utility usage, establish an integrated pest management program, test drinking water, and post environmental testing online. Requires the State Board of Education to report by December 31, 2011, to the General Assembly on implementation of recycling, composting, energy reduction, pest management, air quality, and environmentally friendly cleaning supplies in public schools.
Requires DPI, in conjunction with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to develop an environmental literacy plan for public and charter schools. Establishes a School Gardens Program to develop and integrate gardens into school curricula. Requires the development of local wellness policies that include goals for improving the environmental sustainability of schools, increasing the use of locally grown, locally processed, and unprocessed foods, and increasing physical activity. Requires schools to submit annually to DPI a report profiling information (specified in the act) about their health programs, nutrition programs, physical and health education, and wellness policies. Requires the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in conjunction with local school administrative units, charter schools, and DPI, to develop a plan to establish and operate school health centers in public schools and public charter schools by December 31, 2016. Provides that the square footage of a nurse’s suite must not be a determining factor as to whether or not a school nurse is placed at a public charter school. Establishes the Healthy Youth and Schools Commission to advise the State Board of Education and the General Assembly on health, wellness, and nutritional issues concerning youth and schools in the state. The State Board of Education must appoint the 13 Commission members, who must be experts in health, wellness, or nutrition, parents, teachers, or students. Commission members will serve no more than two, three-year terms.
Requires, when economically feasible, all elementary and secondary public schools, and all non-public schools with 50 or more students, to establish a green cleaning policy and exclusively purchase and use environmentally sensitive cleaning products pursuant to guidelines and specifications developed by the Healthy Youth and Schools Commission, DHHS, the State Board of Education, and other stakeholders. No State funds may be appropriated to implement this portion of the act.