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State changes rules on school fundraisers
Dr John Barge
State Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Barge says the new rules are in response to a federal push to limit fundraisers in schools. - photo by File photo

In response to new federal school-nutrition regulations, State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge and the state Board of Education last week initiated the rulemaking process to amend the state-board rule to comply with the federal Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act of 2010.
Federal regulations required these new standards July 1. The proposed amended rule will include provisions requiring local school systems to have policies regarding the sale of competitive foods during school and school-related activities (fundraisers). The rule also will contain new definitions for “competitive foods,” school campus and school day.  
The initiated rule will allow schools to hold 30 fundraisers per school per school year that are food-related and do not meet the nutrition standards established by federal law. The state Department of Education also will develop a procedure for a school district to obtain a temporary exemption from the state-BoE approved fundraiser limit on a case-by-case basis.  
State Board of Education Chair Helen Rice and Superintendent Barge stated, “These new federal guidelines limiting food and beverage fundraisers are an absolute overreach of the federal government. Tough economic times have translated into fewer resources, and these fundraisers allow our schools to raise a considerable amount of money for very worthwhile education programs. While we are concerned about the obesity epidemic, limiting food and beverage fundraisers at schools and school-related events is not the solution to solving it. We have faith in our local schools to make good decisions on behalf of children.
“That is why we have initiated this rule that gives schools the maximum flexibility in determining how many food and beverage fundraisers they choose to hold. We welcome the public’s feedback during this review period.”
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