POLICY DATABASE
Washington, D.C., Tit. 38, Ch. 8A (2010)
Brief Summary
The law establishes a comprehensive approach to supporting a health and wellness in schools (including public, participating private, and charter schools, and the Summer Food Service Program) by establishing nutrition standards for school meals and Summer Food Service Program meals/snacks (including vending, fundraising, and prizes); providing for extra reimbursement for meals that voluntarily meet the nutrition standards prior to the July 2022 deadline and/or that include a locally-grown component; providing for free breakfast for all students and free lunch for students that qualify for reduced price meals; alternative breakfast serving models (such as breakfast in the classroom); encourage school gardens; support environmentally related concerns such as recycling, composting, water quality testing for lead, environmental literacy, and the like; increasing physical activity; and supporting implementation of school wellness policies and establishment of health centers in schools, regardless of the size of the nurse's office. To support and help fund these activities, the law also establishes a Healthy Schools Fund, funded by annual appropriations.
Legal Strategies
Creates a fund, enables access to a funding stream.
Requires something, sets standards.
Reach
Community-wide
Food System Category: Distribute, Get
State: District of Columbia
Jurisdiction Type: Other
Jurisdiction Name: Washington DC
Does the law refer to priority populations in some way?
Yes. Summer Food Service Program (Sec. 38–821.02(c )(1)), students qualifying for reduced-price meals (Sec. 38–821.02(c)(3)); Sec. 38-822.03 (a)(2) requires that schools that have more than 40% of kids qualify for free and reduced lunch, the free breakfast should be served in the classroom or at other convenient locations.
Does the law refer to or suggest a goal related to improving or protecting health?
Yes. Chapter is called "Healthy Schools" and refers to health throughout. E.g., establishes nutrition standards for school meals; requires healthy vending and fundraisers; has a section on "Health and Wellness," and creates a "Healthy Youth and Schools Commission.".
Does the law refer to or suggest a goal of fostering improved environmental conditions?
Yes. Refers to "locally grown" foods (Sec. 38-821.01 (3);and defintion of "sustainable agriculture" includes practices that: "Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends" and "Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls." (Sec. 38-821.01 (9) (B) and (C)). Devotes an entire section (Sec. 38-825) to creating framework for supporting recycling and composting, testing water for lead, using environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, etc.
Does the law refer to or suggest a goal related to promoting or supporting the community's economy?
Yes. Definition of "sustainable agriculture" includes practices that: "Sustain the economic viability of farm operations" (Sec. 38-821.01 9 (D)). Law provides for additional reimbursement to schools for meals served during school and the Summer Food Service Program that meet specified nutritional standards before the standards become required on July 1, 2022, with even higher reimbursement to eliminate the copay for kids who qualify for reduced-price meals; and provides for a $.05 reimbursement for meals that include a locally-grown component. (Sections 38-821.02 (c) and 38-822.02).
Does the law include findings (including jurisdiction-specific findings), or are there findings in the larger section, title, article, or chapter which the law is part of?
No.
Does the law have a stated intent or purpose, or is there an intent or purpose in the larger section, title, article, or chapter which the law is part of?
No.
Does the law include definitions, or are there definitions in the section, title, article, or chapter which the law is part of?
Yes. Sec. 38–821.01.
Does the law address implementation in some way?
Yes. The Mayor shall issue rules to implement the chapter (Sec. 38-828.01). There also are implementation provisions throughout. E.g, process for implementing the breakfast-in-the-classroom program (Sec. 38-821.02(c )(4)); setting nutrition standards that exceed the minimum requirements (Sec. 38–822.02(c)); Subchapter V (relating to environmental programs).
Are there enforcement provisions that identify specific penalties or consequences for non-compliance?
Yes. For failure to comply with the healthy vending, fundraising, and prizes requirements: "A warning will be issued, then may impose a penalty not more than $500 per day paid to the Healthy Schools Fund." (Sec. 38–822.06(g)). Also, Sec. 38-821.02 (e) states: The Office of the State Superintendent of Education may withhold local funds provided by subsection (c) of this section from public schools and public charter schools that do not meet any or all of the requirements of §§ 38-822.02, 38-822.03, 38-822.05, and 38-822.06.
Does the law include an evaluation component, beyond reporting on activity?
Yes. There are multiple provisions requring assessment, including but not limited to: "The Healthy Schools and Youth Commission shall review school nutrition and the requirements of this title at least every 3 years and recommend improvements to the Mayor and the Council." (Sec. 38–822.07); mandatory reporting to the Commission re: farm to school initiatives on or before June 30 of each year (Sec. 38–823.03); mandatory reporting regarding "Student achievement with respect to health and physical education standards" (Sec. 38-824.05 (2); Mayor was required in 2012 to submit "a comprehensive report describing the implementation of recycling, composting, energy-reduction, pest management, air quality, and environmentally friendly cleaning supplies programs in public schools" including reporting on "Baseline energy usage, an analysis of usage patterns, and savings achieved" and "Recommendations and a timeline for further implementing these programs" (Sec. 38-825.01 (c ) (2)-(3)).
Does the law require an extra or atypical financial or resource investment?
Yes. Sec. 38-825 requires the Department of General Services to establish an environmental programs office, and the Office of the State Superintendent of Schools to establish an environmental literacy program, and a school gardens program. Also, the law provides for free breakfast for all students, free lunch for children who qualify for reduced price meals; and provides additional reimbursement to schools for meals that voluntarily meet specified nutrition standards before the standards become required on July 1, 2022, and for meals that include a locally grown component (Sec. 38-822.03, and Sec. 38-821.02 (c) (1), (3-5), and (8)). Law also provides for competitive grants to be made available (if funds are available) to schools to increase physical activity and for school gardens (Sec. 38-821.02 (c) (6)-(7)).
Code context and ordinance history
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