(Jan. 28) – The House Education Committee gave initial approval today to a bill to help make sure Colorado schoolkids get a good breakfast.
HB13-1006, by Reps. Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City) and Tony Exum Sr. (D-Colorado Springs), would require schools where at least 70 percent of the students qualify for federal free or reduced lunch to serve breakfast to all students after the official start of school.
Educators testifying in support of “breakfast after the bell” said that many students who qualify for pre-school breakfasts don’t get to school in time to eat, and that hungry children don’t learn as well as their better-fed peers.
“This model makes sure that kids – all kids – have access to breakfast in the morning,” Rep. Moreno testified.
The sponsors said that breakfast could be served during roll-call and announcements, and that schools that have already initiated “breakfast after the bell” had been able to do it with no reduction in instruction time.
The vast majority of the cost of the program would be paid for under an existing federal program.
“What we’re trying to do is enhance the learning environment,” Rep. Exum told the panel.
The Education Committee advanced the bill to the Appropriations Committee on an 11-2 vote.