Federal

State Journal

March 28, 2001 1 min read

Survival of the Fizziest

Efforts to curb soft drink sales in schools went flat this month in both Maryland and Minnesota, despite concern among state legislators about the health effects of the drinks and what many see as a commercial invasion of public schools.

Members of the Senate education committee in Minnesota declined by a 29-6 vote to endorse a bill that would have banned sales of soda pop during the school day.

In Maryland, a broader bill limiting commercialism in schools—and including a provision similar to the Minnesota measure—went down to defeat in the Senate by a 26-18 vote.

In both states, school leaders and representatives of the soft drink and vending machine industries joined to quash the bills. They argued that schools could ill afford to lose the money that vending machine sales generate, and that regulation of food and drink sales was best left to districts.

“The members were very sympathetic, but they felt this was a local-control issue,” said Sen. Sandra L. Pappas, a Democrat who is the chairwoman of Minnesota’s Senate education committee.

Sen. Paul G. Pinsky, the Maryland Democrat who sponsored the bill there, called the situation in his state and elsewhere—where soft drinks are on sale during the school day under contracts with drink distributors worth thousands of dollars—"shameful and shameless.”

Though flouted by many high schools in Maryland, federal rules prohibit soda sales in school cafeterias at meal times, and state regulations ban them during any part of the school day. Mr. Pinsky’s bill would have forced districts to formulate policies on soft drink sales that at a minimum would reflect federal and state law.

The Maryland bill would also have prohibited advertising on school buses, clamped down on classroom materials with advertisements or company logos, and required schools to allow parents to keep their children from watching television programs at school that included advertising.

—Bess Keller

A version of this article appeared in the March 28, 2001 edition of Education Week

Events

Early Childhood Live Online Discussion The Impact of the Coronavirus on Early-Childhood Learning
Join Peter DeWitt and his guests on A Seat at the Table as they discuss the implications of coronavirus on early-childhood learning.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Recruiting and Retaining a More Diverse Teaching Workforce
We discuss the importance of workforce diversity and learn strategies to recruit and retain teachers from diverse backgrounds.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Michigan Data Coach- (MGLVA)
Michigan, United States
K12 Inc.
Program Manager, State Solution Delivery
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
Director of Education
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington Public Library
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools

Read Next

Federal President Biden Is Walking a 'Careful Tightrope' When It Comes to School Reopenings
CDC guidance and confusion over his rhetoric turn up the pressure, and could overshadow progress in schools and nuanced public opinion.
9 min read
President Joe Biden answers questions during a televised town hall event at Pabst Theater in Milwaukee on Feb. 16, 2021.
President Joe Biden answers questions during a televised town hall event in Milwaukee earlier this month.
Evan Vucci/AP
Federal White House Unveils New Money to Aid COVID-19 Testing in Schools, But Says More Is Needed
Federal agencies will use $650 million to expand testing in schools and "underserved communities" such as homeless shelters.
2 min read
Image of a coronavirus test swab.
The White House announced new money to help schools test students and staff for COVID-19, but it said more aid is necessary to scale up those efforts.
E+
Federal Q&A To Help Traumatized Students This Summer, Let Them Play, Sen. Chris Murphy Says in Q&A
A member of the Senate education committee, Murphy also discussed new CDC guidance and student testing in an Education Week interview.
8 min read
02172021 Chris Murphy
Andrew Harnik/AP-File
Federal Disowning Past White House Remarks, Biden Says He Wants Many Schools Open Five Days a Week
In a CNN town hall, the president said smaller class sizes and protective equipment for those in schools would help schools reopen.
3 min read
President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen Theater on Dec. 29, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.
Then President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen Theater on Dec. 29, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.
Andrew Harnik/AP