Advocacy Update: School Nutrition Regulation Changes Approved
December 11, 2018
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has finalized updated rules from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act altering requirements related to milk, whole grains, and sodium. The new regulations will take effect on July 1, 2019. The Department's changes represent official action on a plan that was announced by the Secretary of Agriculture in May 2017. Under the new rules, schools will be able to offer students flavored one-percent milk (not just unflavored skim milk), reduce the current 100 percent whole grain requirement to 50 percent - ending the exemption process that some school districts utilized when having trouble meeting the 100 percent requirement and, maintain the current Target 1 sodium level until 2024. The updated regulations can be viewed at the link below.
2019 Capital Conference
Registration is open for the 2019 Capital Conference. Consider joining your colleagues from around the state for two days of programing and advocacy on Sunday, February 10th and Monday, February 11th. Hear from the Commissioner of Education and the NYS Teacher of the Year and, prepare for legislative meetings on the 2019 state budget.
BOCES Capital Exclusion
Earlier this year, the legislature passed a bill that if enacted, would make a targeted adjustment to the state's property tax cap by incorporating a school district's BOCES capital expenditures as part of its capital exclusion. Currently, only district capital expenditures are excluded from the tax cap calculation, despite the fact that BOCES are wholly dependent on their component districts for funding.
Similar legislation was passed in 2017, but was vetoed by the Governor who cited concerns that some BOCES capital projects are not directly approved by the voters and can present unintended consequences to the taxpayer.
The updated legislation, S.7730 (Murphy) / A.9825 (Galef), addresses the concern about voter approval by limiting the exclusion to those BOCES capital projects directly approved by the voters. All remaining bills have until the end of the year to be delivered to the Governor. NYSSBA is asking for your help in urging the Governor to sign this bill. Here are the ways in which you can assist as soon as possible:
First: You can sign on to the Action letter.
Second: Your board can send a letter to the Governor and "cc:" NYSSBA. Sample letters are below.
NYSSBA's memorandum in support of this bill and letter to the Governor can be accessed below. We have also included the Governor's 2017 veto message for reference.
NYSSBA's Governmental Relations team will continue to report on these and other issues. For more information, visit our Key Issues Page.