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Flood Center for Educational Equity and Opportunity
RALEIGH, NC (June 16, 2022) – The Dudley Flood Center for Educational Equity & Opportunity works collaboratively to advocate for structural changes in policy and practice to build an equitable education system that meets the social, emotional, and academic needs of NC’s diverse student population. Today, we urge our federal partners to extend the child nutrition waiver authority. COVID-19 has provided an opportunity for us to continue to meet a basic need and feed students in our public schools by expanding a service which benefits the needs of the whole-child.
The COVID-19 pandemic affected every student in K – 12 education and although we have measures in place to mitigate COVID, the overall impacts of the pandemic are not yet determined. Research shows there are benefits for every child regardless of economic status and academic performance when participating in Universal Free Meals. With recovery efforts underway, now is not the time to remove a strategy that has proven to improve test scores and efforts that promote a positive school climate. Removing universal meals which have been in place since 2019 and returning to options which decrease participation in child nutrition programs at schools could create toxic stress and cause permanent damage to the developing brains of students in K – 12 education impacting the nations overall economic prosperity.
The Dudley Flood Center advocates for the continuation of school nutrition waivers for the next 2 – 5 years. This will allow districts to fully prepare for any eventual transition and provide an opportunity to maintain stability for every child regardless of their economic or academic status. Additionally, extending these waivers will contribute to building resilience in students by providing them with meals to decrease worry and stress about where their next meal may come from. As meals at school are often the only meals students eat each day, we urge our federal partners to have the will to maintain policy that contributes positively to the overall well-being of every student.
To learn more about the Flood Center for Educational Equity and Opportunity and to see a list of events and resources please visit www.ncforum.org/floodcenter and join us in the fight for equity, access, and opportunity in education.
For media inquiries, please contact Deanna Townsend-Smith at 919-781-6833 x114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Flood Center for Educational Equity and Opportunity
Launched in 2019, The Dudley Flood Center for Educational Equity and Opportunity (Flood Center) serves as a hub to identify and connect organizations, networks, and leaders to address issues of equity, access, and opportunity in education across North Carolina. The Flood Center aims to inform discussions on policies impacting equity & social justice, supporting and advancing equity-focused educator programming, and promote discussions around how schools are funded at the local and state levels, in hopes of achieving equity, access, and opportunity for every young person in North Carolina.
About the Public School Forum of NC
Since 1986, the Public School Forum of North Carolina has been an indispensable and nonpartisan champion of public schools and the most trusted source in the state for research and analysis on vital education issues. We bring together leaders from business, education and government to study education issues, develop ideas, seek consensus, and ultimately inform and shape education policy. We do that through research, policy work, innovative programs, advocacy, and continuing education for educators and policymakers. Follow us on Twitter @theNCForum and visit our website at www.ncforum.org.