Pennsylvania House Passes Legislation to Address School Meal Debt

In a significant move to support students and alleviate school meal debt, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed two crucial bills. Let’s delve into the details:

House Bill 2175: Creating the Office of Child Advocate

Pennsylvania currently lacks a permanent Child Advocate office, unlike 34 other states. State Representative Christina Sappey (D-Chester) sponsored House Bill 2175 to establish the Office of Child Advocate as a permanent independent state agency within the Department of Human Services. The goal is to provide dedicated education and prevention of child abuse. The bill passed by a 111-91 vote and now advances to the Senate.

School cafeteria

House Bill 2180: Establishing the School Meal Debt Fund

State Representative Emily Kinkead (D-Allegheny) championed House Bill 2180, which creates a School Meal Debt Fund within the state Department of Education. The fund allocates $80 million to assist public schools in discharging school meal debt held by students. Importantly, the bill also prohibits “school lunch debt shaming.” Kinkead emphasized that well-fed students perform better academically. The legislation passed by a 118-84 vote.

House Bill 1990: Training School Nurses to Treat Seizures

In addition to addressing meal debt, the House passed House Bill 1990, which focuses on training school nurses to handle seizures effectively.


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