ACTE Pushes for CTE Exemption in USDA Nutrition Regulations
ACTE Pushes for CTE Exemption in USDA Nutrition
Recently, ACTE provided comments to the U.S. Department
of Agriculture regarding a proposed regulation that would establish national
nutritional standards for all foods sold to students in schools. The proposed
nutritional standards—authorized by section 208 of the Healthy, Hungry-Free
Kids Act—specifically address
“competitive foods” that are sold in schools outside the school breakfast and
lunch programs. Though intended to target foods sold in vending machines, al a
carte lines and school stores, the stricter guidelines could impact CTE
programs that have incorporate into their courses a school-based business that
sells food. ACTE has been actively engaged in this issue since the law was originally
proposed in Congress in 2010 as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to
end childhood obesity.
The proposed regulation that was released by the USDA
does not specifically address the potential impact on CTE programs. The
proposal does say that the nutritional standards apply to foods sold to
students and not adult patrons, which was not included in the original statute
but specifically pointed to as a concern by ACTE in previous communications
with the department.
Last week, ACTE, along with the National Association of State Directors
for Career and Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and the Family, Career
and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), sent a letter to the department as
part of our ongoing effort to express the concerns of the CTE community on this
issue. The letter also requests an exemption for CTE programs and those foods
prepared and sold competitively for CTE instructional purposes.
The USDA will
consider these comments in writing the final regulation, which will be announced
in the coming months. ACTE and our partner organizations will continue to work
with Congress and the Administration to raise awareness of the issue and to
ensure the best outcome for CTE.