Message Subject: Federal Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization
Dear [Decision Maker],
I am writing to you as a school board member of the [ENTER SCHOOL DISTRICT NAME HERE] and one of your constituents about the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act that expires on September 30, 2010. The reauthorization bills currently pending in Congress (S. 3307/H.R. 5504) are not financially or operationally supportable at the local level and Congress should refrain from taking any further action on the reauthorization until the legislation provides school districts with sufficient resources and local authority to administer them effectively. If Congress cannot do so by September 30th then we recommend a short-term extension of the current programs.
The mandates in S. 3307/H.R. 5504 include: (1) standards for all food sold in school, (2) training and certification requirements for some personnel, (3) paid meal pricing, and (4) authority for indirect cost regulation. Authorized funding is inadequate for these mandates and for the cost of updating standards for school lunch and breakfast.
School districts recognize the importance of providing healthy meals and snacks to school children. But, school districts continue to financially subsidize the federal meals program at the expense of our primary responsibility, our students' education program.
The current economic downturn has precipitated a budgetary crisis for schools, resulting in teacher layoffs and other extreme measures. Congress should not exacerbate this problem by imposing new and unfunded mandates on school districts in the child nutrition reauthorization. I request the Congress fix the pending child nutrition reauthorization to pay for the local costs of the federal free and reduced priced meals, as well as refrain from imposing new federal requirements that micromanage school food programs.
Thank you for considering my concerns regarding the child nutrition reauthorization. I look forward to talking with you about this issue.