WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today praised the Senate Agriculture Committee’s inclusion of his legislation blocking mandatory price increases on school lunches as a part of the Child Nutrition, Integrity and Access Act of 2016, which was today reported favorably out of the Agriculture Committee.
“I am pleased that my provision from the School Lunch Price Protection Act was included in the Child Nutrition, Integrity and Access Act of 2016,” Inhofe said. “This bill will help prevent unnecessary price increases on school lunches, which can mean the difference between our children getting a healthy meal or going without. It is important for our communities to have more local control over school lunch prices instead of the blanket one size fits all standard that this administration continues to push. I commend the Senate Agriculture Committee for continuing Senate Republicans’ work to bring all aspects of education policy back to the local level. The inclusion of my legislation in this broader bill will help many Oklahoma families.”
“This legislation takes away cumbersome paperwork while keeping healthy school meals affordable. This flexibility for school districts is a huge benefit. We thank Senator Inhofe for listening to local school districts and for his continued leadership on this front,” said Deborah S. Taylor, RDN/LD, SNS, associate director of School Nutrition Services for Oklahoma City Public Schools.
“We want more students to choose healthy school lunches, but by forcing schools to raise meal prices, Paid Lunch Equity has priced some families out of the program altogether,” said SNA CEO Patricia Montague, CAE. “Easing the Paid Lunch Equity requirements permits more schools to maintain affordable meal prices, which helps families and allows more students to enjoy healthy school meals. The School Nutrition Association appreciates Senator Inhofe’s efforts on behalf of school meal programs and parents.”
The Child Nutrition, Integrity and Access Act of 2016, reauthorizes child nutrition programs at the United States Department of Agriculture for five years. Among other reforms, the bill prevents school districts from being forced to raise school lunch prices if they meet or exceed the non-federal revenue target in their school food service accounts. This provision mirrors S. 1805, the School Lunch Price Protection Act, which Inhofe introduced on July 21, 2015.
Inhofe has continuously worked to give decision making power over our children’s education back to states and local governments, taking it away from the heavy handed bureaucrats in Washington. On March 10, 2015, Inhofe introduced the Local School Board Governance and Flexibility Act (S.690) with Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and James Lankford (R-Okla.). The legislation prohibits the Department of Education from issuing regulations or other policies that conflict with the policies of local education authorities. These policies were adopted into S. 1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act, which passed the Senate and was enacted into law in December as P.L. 114-95. The Every Student Succeeds Act also repealed Common Core and represented the largest transfer of education power to the states from Washington in 25 years.