ATLANTA – The Georgia state Board of Education is fighting back against Michelle Obama’s school snack rules and is poised to undercut them with a vote Thursday.
The Savannah Morning News reports the board will vote on a proposal to exempt its school districts from the new regulations affecting school bake sales.
The paper writes:
The battle over snack foods sold at Georgia school fundraisers will come down to a vote Thursday.
That’s when the state Board of Education will decide whether to give schools a series of exemptions from a federal requirement that prohibits the sale of high-calorie sweets and high-fat and high-sodium foods during fundraisers held during school hours.
The American Heart Association is siding with the rules and is urging the board to reject the exemption proposal.
If approved, AHA lobbyist Marsi Thrash tells the paper Georgia would have “the worst, weakest policy in the nation.”
The state board is getting support from local districts.
“Students spend approximately 180 days in school each year, and don’t need Washington making it a joyless experience by ‘legislating away’ their opportunity to have an occasional donut or candy bar,” Marietta board member Tom Cheater said, the Marietta Daily Journal recently reported.
The state superintendent, John Barge, is also supportive.
“We don’t have enough teachers in our classrooms and now we are expected to hire some type of food police to monitor whether we are having bake sales or not. That is just asinine,” Barge recently told WSB-TV.
“These fundraisers allow our schools to raise a considerable amount of money for very worthwhile education programs,’’ state board chairwoman Helen Rice said in a joint statement with Barge, according to the Savannah Morning News.
“While we are concerned about the obesity epidemic, limiting food and beverage fundraisers at schools and school-related events is not the solution to solving it.”