For kids who struggle to get three meals a day at home, free or reduced-price breakfast at school is crucial — but not every student is able to make it to school early enough for that meal. In some instances, there is very little time between when the bus arrives to school and when classes begin.
That is why Breakfast After the Bell programs have gained in popularity, including in Washington, where Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a bill into law to increase the number of these programs in high-need schools. Such programs allow students to eat breakfast in the classroom.
Under House Bill 1508, which Inslee signed today, schools that serve a significant number of low-income students would offer a Breakfast After the Bell program. These would be put in place by the start of the 2019–20 school year and be available in schools where at least 70 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
The bill allows participation in Breakfast After the Bell to count as instructional time as long as the students are engaged in educational activities during their breakfast and the meal does not disrupt classroom instruction.
The food served to students through Breakfast After the Bell must meet federal nutritional standards. Preference also must be given to food that is fresh and grown in Washington. Each food item must contain less than 25 percent added sugar.
Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.