BoE takes stand against federal food rules
by Haisten Willis
June 27, 2014 04:00 AM | 5927 views | 5 5 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Randy Scamihorn
Randy Scamihorn
MARIETTA — The Cobb Board of Education finds the Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 hard to swallow.

School board members have long complained about food standards contained in the act, which is related to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative.

But following a 6-0 vote with David Morgan absent Thursday, those complaints are now documented in a resolution.

“Over 50 pages of federal regulations outlining nutritional standards and requirements for all foods sold in schools is excessively burdensome on local school districts and unnecessary for the purposes of reducing childhood obesity,” the board’s resolution states.

“Families should be empowered and enabled to make food choices for children with support of their local school districts.”

School board members, such as Randy Scamihorn, have said the federal government is going too far with the regulations.

“This is an effort by people who want to get into other people’s lives,” said Scamihorn, the board’s vice chair. “It’s overreach.”

Though the school board doesn’t have the authority to change the new lunch rules, Chairwoman Kathleen Angelucci said the size of the Cobb School District might get people’s attention.

“We’re the second largest school district in Georgia,” she said. “Maybe (Michelle Obama) will notice.”

In 2012, school lunches were overhauled to meet the Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act’s regulations, which include calorie limits and mandatory whole grain breads. On July 1, similar standards will apply to snack foods sold in school vending machines.

Angelucci said students often throw away their lunch food because they don’t want it, and the lunches don’t have enough calories to support students who have sports team practices after school.

The regulations would also ban foods not meeting the new standards from being sold on campus during school hours. This could rule out doughnuts or Chick-fil-A biscuit fundraisers, which provide sizable revenue to schools.

According to Zach Thomas, owner of the Chick-fil-A on Macland Crossing Circle in Marietta, biscuit sales raised $182,680 for Cobb schools last year.

The school board envisions having other school systems join to create a wider effort that will be noticed nationally.

Scamihorn also predicted the regulations won’t always be followed.

“People will quietly ignore it,” he said. “Americans resent being told what to do from on high.”

A one-page letter outlines the Cobb school board’s opposition to the rules, including a host of grievances. These include the fundraising impact, lower participation in school meal programs, the lack of federal funding to go along with the new regulations and the possibility of more rules in the future.

Schools not complying with the regulations could see a financial penalty of up to $20,000, according to Unless the law is changed, schools do not have the choice of opting out or delaying the implementation of the standards.

The school board’s resolution came the same day a proposed ban on large sodas in New York City was struck down by the New York State Court of Appeals. The court ruled the city’s board of health “exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority” in enacting the proposal, according to the New York Times.

Board petitions for new math test

Also on Thursday, the school board voted 6-0 to sign a petition asking for a new option in Georgia’s standardized math tests.

Cobb Schools Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said there are two different methods to teaching math in the state. Discreet math is the traditional method, where there are separate courses for subjects such as algebra, geometry and trigonometry. The other method is integrated math, which combines elements of each subject.

Right now, Georgia’s standardized test, which starting in the upcoming school year will be known as the Georgia Milestones Assessment System, is geared toward integrated math. The petition asks the state to give school districts the second option of a test geared toward discreet math.

Angelucci said Georgia is one of only four states in the nation to use the integrated math model. She hopes the petition can help change that.

“You have to lead by example,” she said.

Mary Elizabeth Davis, Cobb’s chief academic officer, said Cobb currently uses the integrated math model.

New principals named

Three new principals were named Thursday night, with each starting July 1.

• Patricia Alford was appointed to principal of Durham Middle School from assistant principal at Dickerson Middle School;

• Liss Maynard was named principal at Clarkdale Elementary School from assistant principal at Mableton Elementary School;

• Tricia Patterson was named principal at Tritt Elementary School from assistant principal at the same school; and

Gail Johnson resigned as principal at Campbell Middle School, effective June 26.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Thank you CCSB
June 27, 2014
Thank you for supporting our school clubs and their efforts to raise funds for our programs. I have had it with government overreach.
Cobb School Advocate
June 27, 2014
Wow, what a waste of time, effort and taxpayer legal fees and money ! The Cobb School Board, mostly over weight, needs to focus on the business at hand and lay-off the stunts and resolutions that cost taxpayers even more money.

Get serious -our students, teachers and administraters need leadership and materials not this "front page" junk !
June 28, 2014
This Board would rather puff up its chest at Washington than investigate the purchasing improprieties going on under their own noses. With this resolution, we will be the object of national ridicule yet again. Is the return of stickers in science books next? Just another chapter in the continued sad decline of the Cobb County School District.
Ben Twomey
June 27, 2014
A wise move, since the program is nothing more than a thinly disguised effort to exert more federal control over our lives. It has nothign to do with nutrition or health.

Another tactice in the liberal war on women.

"You, as a mother, do not have enough sense to feed your chldren properly so the government is going to tell you what they can and cannot eat. That is like we will tell you what light bulbs you can and cannot buy, what guns you can and cannot own, etc, etc."
June 27, 2014
Agreed, Ben. Not sure what 'Cobb School Advocate' is spouting off about. Thank heavens our board agrees that the government is trying to meddle too much. And of all people spearheading this ridiculous charge?? Moo-chelle Obama! How can anyone take her seriously with that caboose? Oh, but she has nice, toned arms. Give me a break.

Yes, it's insulting that they think they need to control all those aspects of our lives. If she has so many concerns about our youth, she needs to speak to teenagers about getting pregnant when they're 13 and 14 and instead, get their high school diploma.
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