Perry Signs School Breakfast Bill!

Senate Bill 376, authored by Eddie Lucio (House sponsor, Eddie Rodriguez)

SB 376 Targets the Poorest Campuses to Expand Breakfasts

  • How much money could TX draw down in federal reimbursements by expanding current school breakfast program?
    • 3,099,007 Texas students are eligible for free/reduced priced meals
    • 1,425,773 Texas avg. daily participation for breakfast
    • 2,353,017 Texas avg. daily participation for lunch

With last year’s state participation rate at 59.7%, Texas received a reimbursement of $460,290,681. This number has the potential to increase to over $600 million with added participation.

  • How many school campuses would be affected?

There are 2,811 schools that have 80% or more of their student populations eligible for free/reduced price meals.  Many of these campuses already offer breakfast to all students, leaving approximately 1000 campuses impacted by Senate Bill 376.

  • How much will this cost the state?

$0. This bill has no fiscal impact to the state. Schools will cover initial implementation, which is typically offset by future reimbursement rates.

  • TARGETS THE POOREST STUDENTS:  Senate Bill 376 is a targeted expansion of the existing school breakfast program to serve campuses with 80% or more economically disadvantaged.
    • Through leveraging existing federal funds, increasing participation in school breakfast is cost-neutral for schools at the 80% threshold.
    • Provides opportunities for innovative public-private partnerships.
    • Supports the agriculture and dairy industries.
    • ALLOWS SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO OPT OUT.  School districts have the opportunity to opt out of the program if it is too costly to serve the poorest children on the poorest campuses.  Senate Bill 376 does not impact campuses below the 80% free/reduced price threshold.
  • Food insecurity is a continuously growing problem and therefore dramatically impacts our children’s well-being.
    • Texas ranks 8th in food hardship in the nation.
    • In Texas, roughly 3 million public school students live at or below 185% of the federal poverty level and therefore qualify for federally-funded free or reduced price school meals.
  • The school breakfast program is an opportunity for children to begin their day with a nutritious breakfast; however, it is underutilized in Texas.
    • In Texas, 59.7% of students eating free or reduced price lunch participated in the school breakfast program.
    • Children have difficulty focusing and learning in school when their basic needs are not met.
  • There are numerous benefits associated with school breakfast programs.
    • Research shows that school breakfast reduces hunger among low-income children and leads to improved health and nutrition;
    • Increases attentiveness and academic performance; and
    • Reduces school nurse visits and classroom discipline problems.
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