The legislature acknowledges that many schools currently offer breakfast before the school day. Nevertheless, Washington ranks forty-first in the nation for participation in the national school breakfast program at the same time that childhood poverty and food insecurity are at record highs in the state. Therefore, the legislature intends to expand the opportunity for students to get a healthy breakfast by requiring schools with large populations of low-income students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals to serve breakfast after the bell beginning in the 2018-19 school year. The state shall provide financial assistance to support the costs of implementing breakfast after the bell programs at participating high-needs schools. Before January 2, 2018, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall develop and distribute procedures and guidelines for the implementation of this act; offer training and technical and marketing assistance to all public schools and school districts related to offering breakfast after the bell, including assistance with various funding options available to high-needs schools; and collaborate with nonprofit organizations knowledgeable about equity, the opportunity gap, hunger and food security issues, and best practices for improving student access to school breakfast. All public schools are also encouraged to offer breakfast after the bell even if not required to do so under this section.
Passed out of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee and on Feb 17th, on motion, referred to Ways & Means