NO. 22. AN ACT RELATING TO SCHOOL DISTRICT PARTICIPATION IN FEDERAL SCHOOL MEALS PROGRAMS.

(H.54)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 16 V.S.A. 1264 and 1265 are amended to read:

1264. Food program

Each school board actually operating a public school shall cause to operate within the school district a food program which makes available a type A school lunch, as provided in the National School Lunch Act as amended, and a school breakfast, as provided in the National Child Nutrition Act as amended, to each attending pupil every school day. In the event of an emergency, the school board may apply to the department for a temporary waiver of this daily operating requirement. The commissioner shall grant the requested waiver if he or she finds that it is unduly difficult for the school district to serve type A lunches a school lunch or breakfast, or both, and if he or she finds that the school district has exercised due diligence in its efforts to avoid the emergency situation which gives rise to the need for the requested waiver. In no event shall the waiver extend for a period to exceed twenty 20 school days.

1265. Exemption; public discussion

(a) A majority of the legal voters, present and voting, The school board of a school district which wishes to be exempt from the provisions of section 1264 of this title may so vote at an annual or special a meeting warned and held for that purpose, and shall be exempt from the provisions of this subchapter until the school year following an affirmative vote to adopt the program to exempt itself from the requirement to operate either the school lunch program or the school breakfast program, or both, for a period of one year.

(b) If a school board is exempt from operating a breakfast or lunch program, annually it shall conduct a discussion on whether to continue the exemption. The pending discussion shall be included on the agenda at a regular or special school board meeting publicly noticed in accordance with subsection 312(c) of Title 1, and citizens shall be provided an opportunity to participate in the discussion. The school board shall send a copy of the notice to the commissioner at least ten days prior to the meeting. Following the discussion, the school board shall vote on whether to continue the exemption for one additional year.

(c) On or before November 1, previous to the date on which an exemption voted under this section is due to expire, the commissioner shall notify the school board in writing that the exemption will expire.

(d) Following a meeting held pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the school board shall send a copy of the agenda and minutes to the commissioner.

Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE; TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

(a) This act shall take effect on July 1, 2003.

(b) This subsection applies to a school district which is not operating a school lunch or breakfast program pursuant to section 1264 of Title 16 on the effective date of this act. On or before November 1, 2003, the commissioner of education shall notify each school district which is not operating a program that it shall be required to operate a breakfast and lunch program beginning July 1, 2004 unless by June 30, 2004, a majority of the legal voters present and voting at an annual or special meeting warned and held for the purpose votes to exempt the district from the requirement to operate either the school lunch program or the school breakfast program, or both, for a year. Thereafter, the district shall be subject to the provisions of sections 1264 and 1265 of Title 16.

Approved: May 14, 2003