NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State Board of Education has passed sweeping new restrictions on student bake sales in order to be compliant with federal rules on school snacks, and a lot of people are unhappy about it.
In order to comply with the Michelle Obama-inspired regulations, Tennessee schools will only be allowed to have bake sales 30 days per school year.
State Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said it was “quite remarkable” that food fundraisers would be regulated by how many days they can be held, noting that this will prevent high school sports teams from holding weekly food fundraisers, according to The Tennessean.
Others were more direct in their criticism.
“It’s unbelievable to me the amount of guidelines that are there,” state Board of Education Chairman Fielding Rolston said, according to the newspaper.
“If somebody wants to object to federal intrusion in what’s going on in schools, I think this would be an ideal place to target their objections,” Rolston said.
School leaders detail how the top-down regulations will have serious consequences for student and teacher activities.
“That means if the Spanish club sells sausage biscuits one morning, that’s one day,” David Sevier, deputy executive director of the State Board of Education, told the paper. “If there’s a schoolwide event where all the teachers cook hamburgers for the seniors, then that’s a day. If there’s a day when the parents do pizza for the entire school, that’s a day.
“If it’s 10 kids or 1,000 kids, it’s still counting as one of those events.”
Sevier ridiculed the regulations, saying, “If I thought I could generate revenue selling carrot sticks, I could tear it up.”
Of course, there are inconsistencies within the regulations. Tubs of cookie dough, for example, may still be sold as the contents is baked and consumed off-campus.