The Douglas County school board – known nationally for its independence and local control – has struck another blow for freedom.
The board voted unanimously to drop out of the National School Lunch Program and forgo the federal subsidies that brought a menu championed by Michelle Obama with them.
“This smacks of nanny state interference,” board president Kevin Larsen said of the federal regulations, according to The Colorado Observer. “Is the next step to start inspecting their bag lunches and start parenting instead of our parents parenting? Are they going to come and monitor your kitchen?”
“I don’t want to be the district that has the most nutritious waste baskets in the state,” said Larsen after a presentation by Director of Nutrition Service Brent Craig at Tuesday’s meeting. “There is a whole menu of things wrong with this program.”
Other board members were equally critical.
“We don’t typically like central planners here in Douglas County,” said board director Craig Richardson, according to the Observer. “There is a role for districts, parents, students, and school-based leaders to strike those balances and meet those unique needs on an individual basis.”
The action is just the latest by the Douglas County board to buck federal and state control.
In 2011, the school board created its own voucher program, allowing students to leave the government schools and take their dollars with them. The teachers union sued and that case is before the state Supreme Court.
The board also decided to stop recognizing the teachers union and began working directly to compensate teachers based on performance rather than standardized union rules.