EDUCATION WATCH BLOG
Oct. 17, 2014
A baked goods ban will not apply to school fundraisers after the state Board of Education approved an exemption from federal nutritional guidelines.
Parents, faculty and students from districts, including Norman and Edmond, approached the board Friday asking them to approve an exemption allowing school fundraisers that sell cookies, “puppy chow” and other snacks to continue.
The students said the fundraisers are held to raise money for philanthropic organizations within their community.
Federal nutritional guidelines prohibit the sale of unhealthy foods during school hours unless states make an exemption for fundraisers. Districts cannot make their own exemptions.
Board member William Price blasted the federal nutritional standards.
“This is just a gross overreach by the federal government to go down to the point of regulating bake sales,” Price said.
Assistant Superintendent Joanie Hildebrand said the federal standards were made in an attempt to promote more healthful eating habits at a younger age.
“Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity and diabetes in the nation,” she said.
The board ultimately approved a policy granting each school 30 fundraising exemptions per semester. Each fundraiser is not to last more than 14 days.
Students and parents in attendance applauded after the vote.
Some of the students thanked each of the board members and gave them bags of homemade puppy chow on their way out the door.