weather icon Clear

School breakfast bill clears Nevada Senate

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Senate on Thursday approved one of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s education measures, a bill to provide more low-income students with breakfast at the start of the school day.

Senate Bill 503 would implement a $2 million grant program so more schools can offer “breakfast after the bell.” The money is included in Sandoval’s $7.3 billion general fund budget.

State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, said the program would ensure that children will not have to go hungry and would be better able to learn. SB503 passed 17-2, with Republican Sens. James Settelmeyer of Minden and Don Gustavson of Sparks voting no.

The bill now goes to the Assembly.

In earlier testimony before Senate committees, Jim Barbee, director of the Nevada Department of Agriculture, said schools where 70 percent of the student population is eligible for free or reduced-price lunches would be eligible for grants to help them implement the program.

Schools would decide how best to do that, such as whether students are served in a cafeteria or given “grab-and-go” sacked meals.

Nevada first lady Kathleen Sandoval also testified in support of the bill when it was heard by the Senate Education Committee. Sandoval said students are better able to concentrate on learning when they are not hungry.

Officials estimate nearly 94,000 students in 120 schools across Nevada could benefit from the program. In Clark County, officials said 82 schools that don’t already have breakfast programs would be added.

Administration officials said the $2 million grant money would leverage roughly $16 million in reimbursements from the federal government. Schools receive $1.93 for every free breakfast provided; $1.63 for reduced-price breakfasts; and 28 cents for paid breakfasts. Schools where 40 percent of meals are served free or at reduced costs can receive up to an extra 30 cents.

Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty rate are eligible for free meals.

Breakfast programs have been criticized in the past for excessive waste.

In 2011-12, a report by the nonprofit group Food Research and Action Center said Clark County increased the number of meals by 46 percent over the previous year, but much of the food was being thrown away.

School officials have said they are aware of the problem and have taken steps to try to provide more food that children like to eat. They also donate leftovers to food banks or make it available later in the day for students to take home or eat at school during the day.

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3901. Find her on Twitter: @SandraChereb.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Mob Month is back at the Clark County Library

For the fifth year the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District is making an offer some people find they can’t refuse. Mob Month is coming back to the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, with events Tuesday nights in January.

7 ways autocomplete can get smarter

Autocomplete is one of the best (or depending on how hastily you push ‘send’ – worst) things in the world. We rely on it so much that Google plans to let us autocomplete whole emails. Here are seven ways predictive input can improve. 1. Recognizing names from previous emails Jakub Kokoszka has a tough name to […]

Movie posters might soon be based on your clicks

You may have thought you left Blockbuster behind, but the basic way we browse movies hasn’t changed all that much. We peruse poster after poster, kind of like walking the aisles of a ‘90s-era video store. That one poster image, meant to appeal to as many people as possible, is often all we see before […]

What I’ll be covering at NAB 2018

The National Association of Broadcasters show kicks off this weekend in Las Vegas.  The show focuses on new and emerging technologies and trends in relation to the media and entertainment industries. As it’s not open to the public, I’ll be at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday to share some of […]

EXECUTIVE TRAVEL: Forget Strip flash; some prefer lake’s panache

If you get called to a board meeting at Lake Las Vegas, you might want to bring your swimsuit. That’s the term Westin at Lake Las Vegas marketing director Matt Boland uses for upright paddleboard races, one of many team-building exercises offered regularly at the resort.

After $4,700 in live poker career winnings, James Romero, 27, wins nearly $2 million

It was a 15-year celebration of The World Poker Tour at Bellagio for the Five Diamond World Poker Classic. The largest field size in WPT Five Diamond’s history was created when 791 entries were tallied, and it was James Romero, 27, of Portland, Oregon, who won his first WPT title.

Auto electronics at SEMA and AAPEX: A brave new world

The Specialty Equipment Market Association celebrated its 50th annual SEMA show at Las Vegas Convention Center this month by showcasing a car culture of “do-it-yourself” garage mechanics who share a passion for customizing vehicles.