By Richard Bammer
A statewide poll released Thursday finds that two-thirds of California voters support an Assembly bill dubbed “Breakfast After the Bell,” requiring thousands of schools to also offer breakfast after the start of the classes.
In a telephone survey of 1,251 registered voters, 64 percent expressed support for a proposal requiring public schools to offer breakfast after the school day begins, such as in homeroom or during a midmorning break. Currently, most schools offering federally funded breakfast serve it only before the school day starts, a policy that effectively denies the nutrition and academic benefits of a school breakfast to 4.3 million California students, Tia Shimada, a spokeswoman for California Food Policy Advocates, which commissioned the poll and sponsored the bill, wrote in a press release.
The poll also indicated that nearly four out of five California voters (77 percent) believe what many reliable studies have shown: Starting the day with breakfast boosts student academic achievement. A recent national study, which Shimada did not cite in the release, links school breakfast participation with higher math, science and reading test scores. Other studies have shown that school breakfast improves attendance, behavior and student health, she noted.