In May 2010, the Council of the District of Columbia unanimously passed the Healthy Schools Act of 2010, which was then signed into law by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. Introduced by Councilmember Mary M. Cheh and Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, the Healthy Schools Act will substantially improve the health, wellness, and nutrition of the public and charter school students in the District of Columbia. The Healthy Schools Act has been fully funded and will take effect when the 2010-2011 school year begins on August 23, 2010.
The District of Columbia suffers from an obesity epidemic. More than 55% of residents are overweight or obese -- including nearly half of all children. In some wards, the rate of overweight and obesity exceeds 70%. Obesity is not the only serious health problem affecting our children. The District has one of the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country, and the highest rates of both sexually-transmitted diseases in young adults and teen pregnancy.
The Healthy Schools Act will:
- Strongly encourage schools to become a HealthierUS school at the Gold Level.
- Require all school meals to meet the USDA HealthierUS Gold Level standards.
- Require all school meals to meet the Institute of Medicine's nutritional standards for Saturated Fat, Trans Fat, and Sodium.
- Require all competitive foods sold in schools to meet the USDA's Gold Level standards.
- Improve the quality of school meals by providing an additional 10 cents for each breakfast and lunch meal served.
- Require all schools to provide free breakfast
- Require breakfast to be served in the classroom in schools with high poverty rates.
- Eliminate the reduced-price co-payment for lunch.
- Establish a farm-to-school program and provide an additional 5 cents for each lunch meal that includes local foods.
- Set a goal of 60 minutes of physical activity for students each day.
- Triple the amount of physical and health education by adopting the national standards.
- Establish recycling, energy-reduction, lead water and paint testing, and other environmental programs.
- Establish a school gardens program and competitive grants.
- Strengthen local wellness policies, create school health profiles, and expand school health centers.
- Establish the Healthy Schools and Youth Commission.
- Require public disclosure about school nutrition, environmental testing, and health programs.
The Healthy Schools Act is supported by DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee, State Superintendent of Education Kerri Briggs, dozens of community organizations, parents, teachers, and students. More than 350 stakeholders, including 100 students, participated in the transparent, inclusive process that crafted this critically important legislation.
December 9, 2010 Hearing on the Implementation of the Healthy Schools Act:
- December 2009 -- Introduction of the Healthy Schools Act
- January and February 2010 -- Working Group Meetings
- March 26, 2010 -- Joint Public Hearing
- April 19, 2010 -- The Committee on Government Operations and the Environment Unanimously Approved the Healthy Schools Act
- April 20, 2010 -- The Committee of the Whole Unanimously Approved the Healthy Schools Act
- April 20, 2010 -- The Full Council Unanimously Approved the Healthy Schools Act on First Reading
- May 4, 2010 -- The Full Council Unanimously Approved the Healthy Schools Act on Final Reading
- May 21, 2010 -- Mayor Adrian M. Fenty signed the Healthy Schools Act into law
- August 2010 -- Effective Date
Committee Report and Fiscal Impact Statement:
- Healthy Schools Act, Final Version (5/4/10)
- Healthy Schools Act, Engrossed (4/20/10)
- Healthy Schools Act, Committee Print (4/19/10)
- Healthy Schools Act, Draft Committee Print (4/15/10)
- Healthy Schools Act, Third Revision, Clean Version (4/13/10)
- Healthy Schools Act, Third Revision, Redline Version (4/13/10)
- Healthy Schools Act, Second Revision, Clean Version (3/17/10)
- Healthy Schools Act, Second Revision, Redline Version (3/17/10)
- Healthy Schools Act, First Revision, Clean Version (2/3/10)
- Healthy Schools Act, First Revision, Redline Version (2/3/10)
- Healthy Schools Act, as Introduced (12/8/09)
References and Resources:
- Say Cheese
By LC Cokinos
The Slow Cook
March 23, 2010