Monday, July 23 , 2018, 2:32 am | Fair 68º


Santa Barbara School Board Reviewing New Policies Limiting Food Fundraisers

New school policies have prohibited certain homemade food from being sold for fundraisers, and there have already been a lot of concerns about these rules even though the policies haven’t been fully implemented, according to Santa Barbara Unified School District leaders.

Board members said the policy was a recommendation from the district’s insurance carrier, which recommended that food items sold after the school day or as part of a fundraiser must be prepared on the premises under the supervision of a certified food handler, unless it’s a bake sale or store-bought items.

It has been partially implemented since the board’s concern never resulted in a policy change, Superintendent Dave Cash said.

This policy would put an end to tamale sales, PTAs selling pizza at evening events and special programs such as Roosevelt Elementary School’s casserole exchange, and board members strongly oppose that. They asked staff to look into health and insurance concerns about this issue, but hope to throw out this wording entirely. Once a decision is made, the district can be more consistent and clear, Cash said.

If there is a liability or safety issue, board president Monique Limon asked staff to find an alternative to this policy.

“It is a social justice issue,” she said, adding that many of the schools rely on food sales to raise revenue, especially the poorest schools. “They can’t do the jog-a-thons that raise $100,000.”

This and other changes are the result of new legislation being passed or lawsuits, with most language suggested by the California School Boards Association, Cash said.

Senate Bill 1016 eliminates full-day preschool programs and encourages having part-day preschool programs combined with general child care services so a full day of services is still available. The district does provide some free preschool, but is working more to collaborate with preschools in the community, Cash said.

The board also decided to create a small working group — with board members Pedro Paz and Kate Parker — to discuss how community and parent groups can contribute to projects to augment bond and capital funding. There is no concrete procedure, so people have contributed 100 percent of a project’s funding or put forward a portion to partner with the district.

Some schools have dedicated foundations that can build or renovate school facilities, and others don’t, so the board also wants to discuss basic district standards for facilities.

“I want to see equity,” Paz said, “but I definitely do not want to see us limiting opportunities.”

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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