Bridges4Kids Logo

About Us Breaking News Find Help in Michigan Find Help in the USA Find Help in Canada Inspiration
IEP Goals Help4Parents Disability Info Homeschooling College/Financial Aid Summer Camp
IEP Topics Help4Teachers Homework Help Charter/Private Insurance Nutrition
Ask the Attorney Become an Advocate Children "At-Risk" Bullying Legal Research Lead Poisoning
Bridges4Kids is now on Facebook. Follow us today!


Article of Interest - Bridges4Kids

Printer-friendly Version

Bridges4Kids LogoSurgeon General Supports Junk Food Purge
"It's a tidal wave of garbage masquerading as lunch." MI State Senator Virg Bernero
MIRS, April 15, 2004
For more articles like this visit


Michigan Surgeon General Kimberly Dawn WISDOM said today she applauds Sen. Virg BERNERO's (D-Lansing) effort to dump the Doritos and Twinkees from school cafeterias in favor of apples and carrot sticks.

Wisdom is well aware of the rising obesity problem with today's children and she supports any legislation that can better regulate what children are shoveling in their mouths during school hours. It's not only about the fat content, but schools also need to be conscious about calorie counts and serving sizes.

"We are at a point where we're seeing significant adverse health affects from children not eating nutritious food and it's important for us to set some guidelines in what they are offered in the school setting," she said.

Wisdom's comments come as Bernero held a noon press conference at the Capitol about his intention to introduce legislation that would mandate that school cafeteria's a la carte lines offer foods that meet the same federal nutritional standards as the food they dish out in the regular cafeteria lines.

High schoolers and middle schoolers are feasting on the cookies, donuts and soda pop offered in these a la carte lines, which feeds a habit of poor eating that can continue into a child's adult life.

"It's a tidal wave of garbage masquerading as lunch," Bernero said.

Children are fatter than in years past. Type II Diabetes cases are increasing, as are dental problems and a host of other ailments usually reserved for older age, he said.

At today's press conference, Bernero was joined by Debbie ZANNOTH of the Ingham County Medical Society, Dave FINKBEINER of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association and Charles SCARBOROUGH of the Black Child and Family Institute. Representatives of the Michigan State University Cooperative Extension were present and Bernero's intern, Londale NELSON of Everett High School, spoke about the poor food choices sold at his campus.

Besides hitting the a la carte line, Bernero also wants to kick junk food vending machines out of middle schools and keep them turned off at high schools during regular school hours. If schools don't follow these recommendations, Bernero is threatening School Aid Fund cuts.

As of now, Bernero doesn't have co-sponsors in the Senate or in the House, but he feels confident he can generate support after the bill is introduced, which could happen as soon as next week.

"In light of all of the studies showing the health problems in this state, I have to believe there's increased sensitivity to this," he said.

Last December, the State Board of Education adopted a resolution encouraging schools to offer whole-grain breads, fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk and nuts.

In general, the Department of Education is supportive of Bernero's concept, but doesn't like the punitive approach the Lansing senator is pushing.

"We want school districts, parents and health food advocates to work together to develop positive policies in our schools," said Martin ACKLEY of the Department of Education.

Bernero's bill likely will be referred to the Senate Education Committee, where chairman Sen. Wayne KUIPERS (R-Holland) has been reluctant to move on bills that hand down additional state requirements on local school districts.

"If parents have a concern with what's being served in their schools, they should approach their local school board. I'm not hearing from parents, 'our school boards are being unresponsive here, we need some help here.'" Kuipers said. "It's a local control issue and not one that should be taken up at the state level."

Bernero's legislation may be DOA in the Senate, but Bernero did get a little media splash from today's news conference.

Television cameras from three Lansing stations were there and the Lansing State Journal ran a story on Bernero's effort in today's edition.

House Subcommittee To Recommend Replacing High School MEAP with ACT
Gongwer News Service, April 19, 2004

The Michigan Educational Assessment Program test for high school pupils should be replaced with the ACT, the test taken by most college-bound students, a House subcommittee will recommend.

Rep. Joanne Voorhees (R-Wyoming) will issue Tuesday the findings of the House Education Subcommittee on Standardized Testing and Replacement. The findings will center on replacing the high school MEAP with the ACT while recommending certain changes designed to prevent added costs to the state from making the switch.

At almost the same time Ms. Voorhees goes before the full Education Committee, Sen. Wayne Kuipers (R-Holland), will hold a news conference with school principals and the Michigan Parent-Teacher-Student Association to announce legislation to replace the MEAP with the ACT.

The subcommittee's report also will include a number of new deadlines, including how long the vendor has to process test scores. Scores were many months late last year.

Attorney General Rules On Charter School Board Action
MIRS, April 19, 2004

In response to a question posed by State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom WATKINS, Michigan Attorney General Mike COX today held the board of directors of a Public School Academy may only conduct business so long as a majority of its members are present.

Watkins specifically asked whether the board of directors of a public school academy may meet to transact business, and make decisions on behalf of the academy, when the number of directors then in office on the board is less than the minimum number of directors specified in the academy's authorizing resolution and contract.

In his opinion, (Opinion No. 7155), Cox noted that the state's School Code does not "specify the minimum number of board members required to establish a quorum or to take action on behalf of the academy." Public School Academies are also governed by the Nonprofit Corporation Act.

That Act states that a "majority of the members of the board then in office, or the members of a committee thereof, constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business, provided that the articles of incorporation or bylaws may provide a larger number, and provided further than in any corporation where there are more than 7 directors, the articles of incorporation or bylaws may provide that less than a majority, but in no event less than 1/3 of directors may constitute a quorum of the board. The vote of the majority of members present at a meeting at which a quorum is present constitutes action of the board or of the committee, unless the vote of larger number is required by this act, the articles or the bylaws."

In conclusion, Cox wrote: At a meeting at which a quorum is present, action may be taken by a vote of the majority of members present unless a larger number is required by the public school academy's articles of incorporation or bylaws.


back to the top     ~     back to Breaking News     ~     back to What's New


Thank you for visiting

bridges4kids does not necessarily agree with the content or subject matter of all articles nor do we endorse any specific argument.  Direct any comments on articles to

2002-2019 Bridges4Kids