General Assembly Raised Bill No. 6621
January Session, 2021 LCO No. 4675
Referred to Committee on EDUCATION
Introduced by:
(ED)
AN ACT CONCERNING ASSORTED REVISIONS AND ADDITIONS TO
THE EDUCATION STATUTES.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
Assembly convened:
1 Section 1. Section 10-238 of the general statutes is repealed and the
2 following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2021):
3 The board of education of any municipality, upon written petition
4 signed by one per cent of the electors of such municipality or fifty such
5 electors, whichever is greater, the signatures thereon to be verified by
6 the clerk of the municipality, shall hold a public hearing on any question
7 relating to the provision of education offered by such board specified in
8 such petition. Such hearing shall be held at a time and place to be
9 designated by such board, not later than three weeks after receipt by the
10 board of such petition.
11 Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 10-214 of the general statutes is
12 repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1,
13 2021):
14 (a) Each local or regional board of education shall provide annually
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15 to each pupil in kindergarten and grades one and three to five, inclusive,
16 a vision screening. [,] Such vision screening may be performed using a
17 Snellen chart [, or equivalent screening device, such as] or an automated
18 vision screening device. The superintendent of schools shall give
19 written notice to the parent or guardian of each pupil (1) who is found
20 to have any defect of vision or disease of the eyes, with a brief statement
21 describing such defect or disease and a recommendation for the pupil
22 to be examined by an optometrist licensed under chapter 380 or an
23 ophthalmologist licensed under chapter 370, and (2) who did not receive
24 such vision screening, with a brief statement explaining why such pupil
25 did not receive such vision screening.
26 Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2021) (a) The Department of
27 Agriculture, in consultation with the advisory committee described in
28 subsection (c) of this section, shall administer the CT Grown for CT Kids
29 Grant Program. Such program shall assist local and regional boards of
30 education to develop farm-to-school programs that will increase the
31 availability of local foods in child nutrition programs, allow educators
32 to use hands-on educational techniques to teach students about
33 nutrition and farm-to-school connections, sustain relationships with
34 local farmers and producers, enrich the educational experience of
35 students, improve the health of children in the state, and enhance the
36 state's economy.
37 (b) A local or regional board of education, regional educational
38 service center, cooperative arrangement pursuant to section 10-158a of
39 the general statutes, child care centers, group child care homes and
40 family child care homes, as such terms are described in section 19a-77 of
41 the general statutes, or any organization or entity administering or
42 assisting in the development of a farm-to-school program, may apply,
43 in a form and manner prescribed by the department, for a grant under
44 this section. Such grant shall be used to develop or implement a school-
45 to-farm program, which may include (1) the purchase of equipment,
46 resources or materials, including, but not limited to, local food products,
47 gardening supplies, field trips to farms, gleaning on farms and stipends
48 to visiting farmers, (2) the provision of professional development and
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49 skills training for educators, school nutrition professionals, parents,
50 caregivers, child care providers, and employees and volunteers of
51 organizations administering or assisting in the development and
52 implementation of farm-to-school programs, and (3) piloting new
53 purchasing systems and programs.
54 (c) The department shall convene an advisory committee to assist in
55 the administration of the CT Grown for CT Kids Grant Program. The
56 advisory committee shall consist of the Commissioner of Education, or
57 the commissioner's designee, and individuals representing stakeholder
58 groups that reflect the demographic and geographic diversity of the
59 state, selected by the Commissioner of Agriculture. The advisory
60 committee shall (1) assist the department in reviewing applications and
61 awarding grants under this section, and (2) provide technical assistance
62 to grant recipients in the development and implementation of farm-to-
63 school programs.
64 (d) In awarding grants under this section, the department shall (1)
65 give priority to applicants (A) located in alliance districts, as defined in
66 section 10-262u of the general statutes, or who are providers of school
67 readiness programs, as defined in section 10-16p of the general statutes,
68 and (B) who demonstrate broad commitment from school
69 administrators, school nutrition professionals, educators and
70 community stakeholders, and (2) not award a grant that is in an amount
71 greater than ten per cent of the total amount available for the fiscal year.
72 (e) The department may accept gifts, grants and donations, including
73 in-kind donations, for the administration of the CT Grown for CT Kids
74 Grant Program and to implement the provisions of this section.
75 (f) Not later than January 1, 2023, and annually thereafter, the
76 department shall submit a report on the CT Grown for CT Kids Grant
77 Program to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly
78 having cognizance of matters relating to education, in accordance with
79 the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes. Such report shall
80 include, but need not be limited to, an accounting of the funds
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81 appropriated and received by the department for the program,
82 descriptions of each grant awarded under the program and how such
83 grant was expended by the recipient, and an evaluation of the program
84 and the success of local farm-to-school programs that have received
85 grant awards under this section.
This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following
sections:
Section 1 July 1, 2021 10-238
Sec. 2 July 1, 2021 10-214(a)
Sec. 3 July 1, 2021 New section
Statement of Purpose:
To (1) clarify the law that requires boards of education to hold public
hearings that such public hearings shall be related to the provision of
education offered by the board of education, (2) clarify the law how
annual vision screenings for students may be performed, and (3) to
establish the CT Grown for CT Kids Grant Program to assist in the
development and implementation of local farm-to-school programs.
[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except
that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not
underlined.]
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Statutes affected:
Raised Bill: 10-238