Kids Are Learning More Than You Think

The House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing last week on school nutrition and got an earful.

“When it comes to whole grain-rich variations of biscuits, grits, crackers and cornbread, all too often, students simply toss them into the trash cans,” said Dr. Lynn Harvey, chief of school nutrition services at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Those who believe any problem can be solved by a government program should read the rest of Dr. Harvey’s written testimony, where she details how efforts to provide more nutritious meals have resulted in higher costs, more waste, an increase in processed foods and a reduction in the number of kids eating, which is supposed to be the point.

The good news is that some students are learning about the free enterprise system and are even applying its principles to their daily life.

“Perhaps the most colorful example in my district is that students have been caught bringing–and even selling–salt, pepper, and sugar in school to add taste to perceived bland and tasteless cafeteria food,” said John S. Payne, the president of Blackford County School Board of Trustees in Hartford City, Indiana.

That’s why America is the land of opportunity.

In a related story, Politico reports “A dairy industry-led push to let schools serve flavored 1 percent milk has hit a roadblock amid haggling over school nutrition and spending legislation — but another avenue may have opened up. In a move that surprised industry officials, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently said he’d support expanding school milk options through executive action.”

I searched in vain through The Federalist No. 69 for any reference to school milk options.

In his testimony before the House subcommittee, Mr. Payne broached the subject of milk. “Some kids cannot drink or dislike milk,” he wrote. “Our district tried to provide needed calcium to those students with juice, but was cited by the School Nutrition Department within our state education agency and was forced to discontinue the practice.”