The Senate Education Committee voted today to let schools opt out of the federal school lunch program.
The program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture pays schools to offer free or reduced-price lunches to students based on family income.
Sen. Rich Crandall said he has nothing against the program. But he said that current and pending rules could make it unduly burdensome. For example, he said there are situations where schools are charging students less for lunch than the subsidy they are getting from the federal government.
Governor Jan Brewer is proposing a nearly $9 billion spending plan for the coming fiscal year that provides more money for schools, hires former police officers to investigate allegations of child abuse and sets up a needs-based scholarship for community colleges. The plan also provides a little more money for the state's university system. But Brewer wants to revamp how the cash is divided up, a move that John Arnold, the governor's budget chief, said is likely to reduce the allocation for the University of Arizona.
The Tucson Unified School District voted four-to-one to end its Mexican American Studies Program late Tuesday night. The school district risked losing $15 million if it continued teaching ethnic studies as they were being taught. From Tucson, Michel Marizco reports.
It’s the final blow against the program. Using a new state law, Arizona school officials outlawed Mexican American studies at TUSD. They said the courses were divisive and advocated overthrowing the government. Then the teachers appealed to a federal judge to stop Arizona from ending the courses.