HB2660 may be known and cited as the hunger-free schools act.
It amends current law such that beginning in 2021, and by April 1st of each year, the Office of the Superintendent Of Public Instruction shall identify which schools and school districts have an identified students percentage of at least 40% under federal guidelines for the community eligibility provision. Within 30 days of completing the identification process, or at an earlier date to comply with federal requirements, the OSPI will:
Notify each school and school district that has been identified as eligible for participation in the community eligibility provision;
Provide technical assistance to the notified schools and school districts with the goal of maximizing the number of students who are eligible for universal free meals; and
Ensure appropriate reimbursement rates for participating schools and school districts participating in the community eligibility provision.
Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, each school with a school lunch program and school breakfast program must make school lunches and breakfasts available to all students at no charge to the students if the school or the school district has identified at least 40% of the students of the school or at least 70% of the students of the school district qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
- Requires, with limited exceptions, each school with students in or below grade 8 with 62.5 percent or more of its students eligible for free meals through a direct certification process to participate in the federal Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), there by making school meals available to all students at no charge.
- Modifies funding provisions for the Learning Assistance Program (LAP) by allowing schools participating in the CEP to receive state allocations based on the district's percentage of students who were eligible for free and reduced- price meals in the school year that preceded the school's participation in the CEP.
- Modifies eligibility requirements for certain annual teacher bonuses by allowing free and reduced-price lunch eligibility data from the school year immediately preceding the school's participation in the CEP to be used in determining eligibility for the bonuses.
- Directs OSPI to convene monthly meetings with organizations working on a plan to increase the number of students participating in the CEP, and directs the OSPI and the organizations to examine the impacts to schools and districts that can result from participation in the CEP and to identify approaches to addressing those impacts.
Floor amendment 1354:
Exempts schools that, through an arrangement with a local entity, provide meals to all students and at no costs to the students from the requirement to participate in the CEP.