Governor Mills signed into law a measure that requires schools to feed students school lunch whether or not they are able to pay.
The Maine Education Association began advocating for this measure during the last legislative session and continued working with legislators during this session to ensure the bill would pass. In particular, MEA member and Representative Jan Dodge worked hard with other lawmakers to explain the importance of ensuring kids are not hungry so they can learn.
The bill does several specific things including:
- Prohibits a public school from refusing a meal to a student as a form of or as part of a disciplinary action
- Prohibits punishing, openly identifying or stigmatizing a student who cannot pay or has payments past-due such as requiring a student to wear a wristband, hand stamp or other identifying mark or sign noticeable by others
- Requires communication about payments occur with parents or guardians and not with students
MEA is pleased to see this measure finally pass as the Association continues to work on eliminating barriers to learning.