2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Reeves, Myers, Brown, Martinson, Thomas, Warren, Harrison, Clarke, Whittington, Mayo, Ward, Montgomery, Fillingane, Calhoun, Holloway, Burnett, Scott
AN ACT TO BE KNOWN AS THE MISSISSIPPI HEALTHY STUDENTS ACT; TO AMEND SECTION 37-13-134, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE A MINIMUM PERIOD OF ACTIVITY-BASED INSTRUCTION AS DEFINED BY THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION AS APPROPRIATE AND A MINIMUM PERIOD OF HEALTH EDUCATION INSTRUCTION IN GRADES K-8; TO REQUIRE ONE-HALF OF A CARNEGIE UNIT IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION IN GRADES 9-12 FOR GRADUATION; TO REQUIRE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO COLLECT BODY MASS INDEX (BMI) INFORMATION FOR EVERY STUDENT AND PROVIDE THAT INFORMATION TO PARENTS WITH AN EXPLANATION; TO REQUIRE THE APPROPRIATION OF SUFFICIENT STATE-SOURCE FUNDS FOR THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO EMPLOY A PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COORDINATOR TO ASSIST SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS; TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATUTORY DUTIES OF THE LOCAL SCHOOL HEALTH COUNCILS SHALL BE MANDATORY RATHER THAN PERMISSIVE; TO PROVIDE THAT THE LOCAL SCHOOL HEALTH COUNCILS SHALL INCLUDE A REPRESENTATIVE FROM FOOD SERVICE ADMINISTRATORS/DIRECTORS; TO DIRECT THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO ADOPT REGULATIONS, FOR COMPLIANCE BY SCHOOL DISTRICTS, THAT ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING AREAS: PREPARATION OF FOOD ITEMS; FOOD ITEMS THAT CAN BE PREPARED, SOLD OR CONSUMED IN SCHOOL CAFETERIAS AND ON SCHOOL CAMPUSES; RESTRICTION OF COMPETITIVE FOOD SALES ON SCHOOL CAMPUSES; THE MINIMUM TIME ALLOTTED FOR STUDENTS AND STAFF TO CONSUME SCHOOL BREAKFAST AND SCHOOL LUNCH; RESTRICTION OF SALES OF EXTRA FOOD TO STUDENTS; AND MARKETING HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES TO STUDENTS AND STAFF; TO DIRECT THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO ADOPT REGULATIONS SPECIFYING THE FOOD AND BEVERAGE ITEMS AND OTHER ITEMS THAT ARE APPROVED FOR SALE THROUGH SCHOOL FUND-RAISERS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known as the Mississippi Healthy Students Act.
SECTION 2. Section 37-13-134, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-13-134. (1) The Legislature recognizes that there is a problem with Mississippi student inactivity and obesity * * *, and therefore requires the following * * * for school district physical education, health education and fitness classes:
Kindergarten through Grade 8: One hundred fifty (150) minutes per week of activity-based instruction as defined by the State Board of Education, which instruction must be provided during a minimum of three (3) days per week. In addition, there shall be forty-five (45) minutes per week of health education instruction.
Grades 9 through 12: One-half (1/2) Carnegie unit requirement in physical education for graduation.
All instruction in physical education and health education must be based on the most current state standards provided by the State Department of Education.
(2) At the end of the first semester of each school year, each school district shall collect an annual body mass index (BMI) for every Mississippi public school student and provide this information to parents. The information sent to parents shall include an explanation of the BMI, benefits of physical activity, benefits of proper nutrition, and resources for parents that promote and encourage a healthy lifestyle. The State Board of Education shall provide resources, training and technical assistance to school districts on the collection and dissemination of BMI. The school districts shall treat the students' BMI information as private information in the same manner as other student records are treated.
(3) The Legislature shall appropriate sufficient state-source funds for the State Department of Education * * * to employ a physical activity coordinator to assist school districts on current and effective practices and on implementation of physical education programs.
(4) The physical activity coordinator employed under Section 37-13-133 must have the qualifications prescribed in any of the following paragraphs, which are listed in the order of preference:
(a) A doctorate in physical education, exercise science or a highly related field, and at least three (3) years of experience in teaching physical education in Grades K-12 or in physical activity promotion/fitness leadership; or
(b) A master's degree in physical education, exercise science or a highly related field, and at least five (5) years of experience in teaching physical education in Grades K-12 or in physical activity promotion/fitness leadership; or
(c) A bachelor's degree in physical education, a teacher's license, and at least seven (7) years of experience in teaching physical education in Grades K-12 or in physical activity promotion/fitness leadership.
(5) The Governor's Commission on Physical Fitness and Sports created under Section 7-1-551 et seq., the Mississippi Council on Obesity Prevention and Management created under Section 41-101-1 et seq., the Task Force on Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention created under Section 41-103-1 et seq., the Mississippi Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and the Mississippi Alliance for School Health shall provide
recommendations to the State Department of Education regarding the employment of the physical activity coordinator. The department shall consider the recommendations of those entities in employing the physical activity coordinator.
(6) The physical activity coordinator shall present a state physical activity plan each year to the Governor's Commission on Physical Fitness and Sports, the Mississippi Council on Obesity Prevention and Management, the Task Force on Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, the Mississippi Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and the Mississippi Alliance for School Health.
(7) The physical activity coordinator shall monitor the districts for adherence to current Mississippi school accountability standards and for implementation of the physical education curriculum on file with the State Department of Education. The State Department of Education shall monitor and act as a clearinghouse for the activities of the local school health councils established pursuant to subsection (8) of this section.
* * *
(8) (a) The local school board of each school district shall establish a local school health council for each school which shall ensure that local community values are reflected in the local school's wellness plan to address school health. Such councils shall be established no later than November 1, 2006.
(b) The local school health council's duties shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(i) Recommend age appropriate curriculum and the number of hours of instruction to be provided in health and physical education;
(ii) Recommend appropriate practices that * * * include a coordinated approach to school health * * * designed to prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes and other health risks through coordination of:
1. Health education;
2. Physical education;
3. Nutritional services;
4. Parental/community involvement;
5. Instruction to prevent the use of tobacco, drugs and alcohol;
6. Health services;
7. Healthy environment; * * *
8. Counseling and psychological services; and
9. Staff wellness.
(iii) Provide guidance on the development and implementation of the local school wellness plan. Beginning with the 2006-2007 school year, each local school board shall adopt a school wellness plan which shall promote a healthy lifestyle for Mississippi's school children and staff.
(c) The local school board shall appoint members to the local school health council. At a minimum, the school board shall appoint one (1) person from each of the following groups:
(i) Parents who are not employed by the school district;
(ii) Public schoolteachers;
(iii) Public school administrators;
(iv) District students;
(v) Health care professionals;
(vi) The business community;
(vii) Law enforcement;
(viii) Senior citizens;
(ix) The clergy;
(x) Nonprofit health organizations; * * *
(xi) Faith-based organizations; and
(xii) Food service administrators/directors.
(9) (a) The State Board of Education shall adopt regulations, for compliance by school districts, for the Child Nutrition School Breakfast and Lunch Programs that are not in conflict with and may be more stringent than the regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and that address the following areas:
(i) Preparation of food items;
(ii) Food items that can be prepared, sold or consumed in school cafeterias and on school campuses;
(iii) Restriction of competitive food sales on school campuses;
(iv) The minimum time allotted for students and staff to consume school breakfast and school lunch;
(v) Restriction of sales of extra food to students; and
(vi) Marketing healthy food choices to students and staff.
(b) The regulations on preparation of food items for the Child Nutrition School Breakfast and Lunch Programs shall, at a minimum, address the methods of preparing foods and the use of ingredients that will:
(i) Reduce the amount of and, whenever possible, eliminate saturated fat in food items, and reduce the amount of sugar and sodium in food items;
(ii) Eliminate any nonnaturally occurring trans fatty acids in food items;
(iii) Use one hundred percent (100%) whole grain products and ingredients whenever available; and
(iv) Eliminate the frying of food items.
In order to promote healthier food preparation, these regulations shall prohibit any school district, school or other entity from purchasing deep fryers after January 1, 2008, for the purpose of preparing foods for the Child Nutrition School Breakfast and/or Lunch Program, and shall encourage schools to use baking ovens instead of deep fryers for food preparation.
(c) The regulations on food items that can be prepared, sold or consumed in school cafeterias and on school campuses during the Child Nutrition School Breakfast and Lunch Programs shall, at a minimum:
(i) Prohibit the sale or consumption of retail fast foods in the school cafeterias or at any other location on the school campuses; however, this shall not prohibit the sale or consumption of retail fast foods at extracurricular school events, as defined by the State Board of Education, regardless of the location at which the events are held; and
(ii) Prohibit anyone from bringing retail prepared food into the school cafeterias or onto the school campuses during the school breakfast and school lunch programs.
(d) The State Board of Education shall encourage each school to provide students and staff with a minimum of fifteen (15) minutes to eat lunch once they have received their food. In determining the total length of the lunch period, the time to and from the cafeteria, the time to go through the line, and the time to bus trays at the end of lunch shall be considered.
(e) The regulations on marketing healthy food choices to students and staff shall provide resources, examples, and/or methods for assisting schools with marketing healthy food choices to students and staff to make those choices appealing or attractive to them, in order to support and increase participation in the Child Nutrition School Breakfast and/or Lunch Program.
(f) The regulations adopted under this subsection (9) shall be effective from and after July 1, 2008, except for the regulation under paragraph (b) that prohibits the purchase of deep fryers, which shall be effective from and after January 1, 2008.
(10) The State Board of Education shall adopt regulations, for compliance by school districts, that specify the food and beverage items and other items that are approved for sale or distribution * * * through fund-raisers that are conducted by students, teachers, school groups or parent groups * * * off the school campus. With respect to food and beverage items, the board shall approve only healthy and nutritious items that are not inconsistent with the regulations adopted under subsection (9) that govern food and beverage items. The regulations adopted under this subsection (10) shall be effective from and after July 1, 2008.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.