What it does: The bill would place requirements around what schools and school districts can do when a student does not pay for a school meal, including a prohibition against publicly identifying, stigmatizing or marking a student who has not paid for a meal. Schools also are prohibited from requiring a student to work or perform service in lieu of payment for meals. The bill was introduced by Rep. Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) and Rep. Brian Clem (D-Salem) after a series of stories in April about the New Mexico Legislature’s efforts to deal with “lunch shaming.”
What’s new: Because of procedural deadlines, the bill was moved to the House Rules Committee, rather than the House Education Committee. The bill had a hearing Thursday.
What’s next: A work session is scheduled for Tuesday. OSBA will monitor the bill.
What it does: This bill would clarify that a school administrator or staff member cannot notify anyone of a pending investigation of child abuse or an interview in progress on school grounds. The initial hearing on this bill was in the Senate Judiciary Committee in April.
What’s new: The bill had its first hearing in the House in the Human Services and Housing Committee. Members had questions related to the process for a child abuse investigation in schools when Child Protective Services is involved. This specific type of investigation occurs when the alleged abuser has a familial relationship with the child. School districts are responsible for their students when they are on school grounds, and to protect the student and the school district, schools ask law enforcement and CPS investigators to sign a form that confirms investigators are who they say they are and that the student can be pulled from class for the interview with the CPS worker. In some situations, schools have refused to pull the student from class because the worker refused to sign the form.
What’s next: The bill is expected to move out of committee next week. OSBA and CPS are working together to come up with a form agreeable to schools and CPS.