Greetings (and apologies for cross-posting),
This morning the House Education Committee held a meeting in Lansing on House Bill 4306, which would amend the revised school code.
A new substitute version of this bill (which again, may still change and has not been adopted by the House; see attached) is now on the table. This substitute bill (H-2) still requires school districts to collect bids for food, custodial, and transportation services but does not mandate that schools/districts privatize these services; "a school district, intermediate school district, or public school academy may contract with any person or entity to provide these services, or may have these services provided on an employment basis by a group of its employees after obtaining competitive bids..." This new version of the bill also exempts school food service programs that make a profit from that requirement; "(4) This section does not apply to...(B) the provision of food services, if the revenues that the school district, intermediate school district, or public school academy receives from its food service program exceed the costs of operation of the program."
With a packed room including numerous school food service directors, spoken testimony and submitted testimony cards were overwhelmingly in opposition of this bill, although there was some confusion between the different versions of the bill as many had not yet seen the newest substitute bill that began circulating late yesterday. Please check the House Education Committee homepage in the coming days for minutes and testimony from this meeting - http://www.house.mi.gov/committeeinfo.asp?lstcommittees=education.
Farm to Institution Specialist
CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems
Michigan State University
303 Natural Resources Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1222