ATLANTA - The Georgia State School superintendent is pushing back against a new federal requirement that bans sweets and “goodies” from being sold at school fundraising events, like bake sales.
The new federal restrictions only apply to on-campus bake sales and fundraisers held during school hours that sell highly fatty, or caloric sweets. It is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s push for fitness and healthy classrooms.
“We don’t have enough teachers in our classrooms and now we are expected to hire some type of food police to monitor, whether we are having bake sales or not. That is just asinine,” said Dr. John Barge, Georgia State School superintendent.
States can create exemptions under the federal rule and Barge is pushing for an exemption that would allow 30 fundraisers per year per school.
If states do not act, the federal law does not provide for any exemptions. Frequently asked questions can be found here.
“We need this money for competition, for outfits, for buses, without those sales we can’t go,” said Harmony Hart, who says her dance team in Rockdale County is reliant on bake sales.
“We used to have bake sales and cookie sales, and we used to look forward to doing that. Now what are the kids going to do?” said parent Vanessa Foster.
The rule doesn’t apply to after-school fundraisers or athletic events, only events on campus.
“A lot of times when you look at the regulations and how it is going to play out -- it is not as bad as people have feared,” said Peggy Lawrence, the nutrition director for Rockdale County Schools.
The Georgia PTA also supports healthy living and it's working with the state on a proposal.
“What an overreach this is for Washington to tell us what our school can and cannot sell to raise money in our schools,” Barge said.
The Georgia Board of Education is set to vote on the 30 exemption proposal on Aug. 21.