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From Kindergarten to K-12, Edtech news, school management and teaching strategies… Education Slice is the only trusted online news source in the US dedicated to covering current headlines, articles, reports and interviews to make sure you’re at the forefront of changes in the education industry.

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Education Slice
National
Ed Dept awards $1bn to make schools safer and healthier places to learn

The U.S. Department of Education has announced Stronger Connections grants totaling nearly $1bn, to help schools provide all students with safe and supportive learning opportunities and environments that are critical for their success. State education agencies (SEAS) must award these funds competitively to high-need local educational agencies (LEAs), as determined by the state, to fund activities allowable under section 4108 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). As part of the announcement, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona sent chief state school officers a Dear Colleague Letter outlining three principles that SEAs are strongly encouraged to consider when designing a competitive grant competition and providing LEAs with direction for how they use these funds: to implement comprehensive, evidence-based strategies to to create positive, inclusive and supportive school environments; to engage with students, families, educators and staff on the deployment of these strategies; and to ensure that they are responsive to underserved students, protect student rights, and demonstrate respect for student dignity and potential.

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Education Slice
California
Biden seeks to expand free school meal programs

President Joe Biden hosted a conference on hunger, nutrition and health on Wednesday, at which he pushed to expand access to free school meals for 9m more children by 2032. “In every country in the world, in every state in this country, no matter what else divides us, if a parent cannot feed a child, there’s nothing else that matters to that parent,” Biden said during the event Wednesday. “If you look at your child and you can’t feed your child, what the hell else matters?” In July, a group of Congressional Democrats introduced the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act. In addition to reauthorizing the expired USDA waivers that allowed all students to eat meals for free regardless of income status, the bill would expand access to free school meals by lowering the threshold for what’s known as the Community Eligibility Provision for those programs. That allows schools or clusters of schools to offer free meals if 40% or more of the student population qualifies for free or reduced-price meals. Under the bill, that threshold would be lowered to 25%. Through the USDA, the administration also plans to expand student access to meals in the summer, provide more resources to school meal programs serving Native American students, and advance a new initiative to support schools’ efforts to improve the nutritional quality of meals. Nonprofit group FoodCorps is working with the administration on this, and is committing $250m to its Nourishing Food Initiative. Crystal FitzSimons, director of school and out-of-school time programs at the Food Research & Action Center, said she is excited about the plan, calling it "a key strategy to ending hunger and supporting health, but then also to really support educational achievement and all the positives that are linked to participation in school breakfast and school lunch." “A healthy school meal is integral to the school day, and no child should go without due to inability to pay,” said Lori Adkins, president of the School Nutrition Association. “Research shows school meals support academic achievement and are the healthiest meals children eat.”

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Education Slice
Texas
Biden seeks to expand free school meal programs

President Joe Biden hosted a conference on hunger, nutrition and health on Wednesday, at which he pushed to expand access to free school meals for 9m more children by 2032. “In every country in the world, in every state in this country, no matter what else divides us, if a parent cannot feed a child, there’s nothing else that matters to that parent,” Biden said during the event Wednesday. “If you look at your child and you can’t feed your child, what the hell else matters?” In July, a group of Congressional Democrats introduced the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act. In addition to reauthorizing the expired USDA waivers that allowed all students to eat meals for free regardless of income status, the bill would expand access to free school meals by lowering the threshold for what’s known as the Community Eligibility Provision for those programs. That allows schools or clusters of schools to offer free meals if 40% or more of the student population qualifies for free or reduced-price meals. Under the bill, that threshold would be lowered to 25%. Through the USDA, the administration also plans to expand student access to meals in the summer, provide more resources to school meal programs serving Native American students, and advance a new initiative to support schools’ efforts to improve the nutritional quality of meals. Nonprofit group FoodCorps is working with the administration on this, and is committing $250m to its Nourishing Food Initiative. Crystal FitzSimons, director of school and out-of-school time programs at the Food Research & Action Center, said she is excited about the plan, calling it "a key strategy to ending hunger and supporting health, but then also to really support educational achievement and all the positives that are linked to participation in school breakfast and school lunch." “A healthy school meal is integral to the school day, and no child should go without due to inability to pay,” said Lori Adkins, president of the School Nutrition Association. “Research shows school meals support academic achievement and are the healthiest meals children eat.”

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Education Slice
Florida
Federal efforts announced to expand free school meal programs

President Joe Biden hosted a conference on hunger, nutrition and health Wednesday, at which he pushed to expand access to free school meals for 9m more children by 2032. In July, a group of Congressional Democrats introduced the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act. In addition to reauthorizing the expired USDA waivers that allowed all students to eat meals for free regardless of income status, the bill would expand access to free school meals by lowering the threshold for what’s known as the Community Eligibility Provision for those programs. That allows schools or clusters of schools to offer free meals if 40% or more of the student population qualifies for free or reduced-price meals. Under the bill, that threshold would be lowered to 25%. Through the USDA, the administration also plans to expand student access to meals in the summer, provide more resources to school meal programs serving Native American students, and advance a new initiative to support schools’ efforts to improve the nutritional quality of meals. Nonprofit group FoodCorps is working with the administration on this, and is committing $250m to its Nourishing Food Initiative. Lori Adkins, president of the School Nutrition Association, comments: “Research shows school meals support academic achievement and are the healthiest meals children eat.”

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