First Lady Michelle Obama has an op-ed in today’s Washington Post calling on Congress to act to pass the Child Nutrition Act--which would reauthorize federally funded school lunch programs and implement reforms to improve health and nutrition in them--when they return following the August recess.
Since I’ve been talking a lot here lately about social and community services designed to address out-of-school issues that affect low-income children’s educational achievement, I’ll just note that making school lunches healthier and expanding access to school breakfast, afterschool, and summer feeding programs is one example of a strategy to meet these needs. But the First Lady isn’t proposing these reforms as a substitute for or argument against reforms that improve teaching and learning--in fact, the Obama administration is simultaneously pushing both school reforms and improvements in child nutrition programs. Moreover, while education policy types like to focus on ESEA reauthorization in these debates, the most promising federal policy opportunities to address children’s out-of-school needs are likely outside of ESEA--such as the Child Nutrition Act and the recently passed health care reform legislation and its implementation.
The opinions expressed in Sara Mead’s Policy Notebook are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.