January 26, 2009

State Schools Superintendent Stops in San Leandro to Push for School Meal Funding

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell held a press conference in San Leandro on Friday, January 23, 2009, to advocate for passage of AB95, a bill to provide for additional funding for subsidized meals in California's public schools. O'Connell was joined by the bill's author, Assemblymember Tom Torlakson, who is running for State Superintendent in 2010, Sandee Larsen, Director of Child Nutrition for the San Lorenzo Unified School District, and Ken Hecht, the Executive Director of California Food Policy Advocates.

Larsen noted that San Lorenzo Unified has seen a 6% increase over the previous year in students who are qualified for free and reduced meals. San Leandro Unified has had a 17% increase in students receiving free and reduced meals over the previous year. Last year, California ran out of money for subsidized meals in May and local school districts made up the difference.

According to the California Department of Education, more than 770 million free/reduced meals were served in 2007-2008, a 4.5% increase over the previous year. The subsidized meal program dates back to the "safety net" programs enacted in response to the Great Depression.

The press conference was held at Corvallis Elementary in San Leandro, California.

Superintendent Jack O'Connell's remarks:

Assemblymember Tom Torlakson's remarks:

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at January 26, 2009 12:04 AM | TrackBack

With parents and teachers, I am organizing a rally in support of our public schools. We will call upon our state legislators to reject the Governor's budget cuts.

The rally will occur in San Leandro on Friday, February 6th, at 3:45 p.m., at Memorial Park, which is located at the corner of Bancroft and Callan across from Bancroft Middle School.

I have invited State Senator Ellen Corbett and several local officials to speak. Jon Sherr, President of the San Leandro Teachers Association; Mike Katz, San Leandro School Board President; and Dr. Dennis Byas, Superintendent of San Lorenzo School District, have been confirmed as speakers.

I hope we will have a strong turnout of parents, teachers, students and community members. For those of you on Facebook, please also join the group for the rally at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=46288068546

Finally, there is speculation a budget deal may be announced this week. If that occurs, the rally will still go forward. Any agreement that balances the budget on the backs of our children should be rejected.

Thank you for your interest and participation.

Stephen Cassidy

Posted by: Stephen Cassidy at January 27, 2009 11:07 PM
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