AB-1871: Charter schools: free and reduced-price meals

Session: 2017-2018
Author: Bonta
Status: Signed into Law (Chaptered)
AAP-CA Position: Support
To view the status of this bill on the State Website, click here.

The Charter Schools Act of 1992 provides for the establishment and operation of charter schools, and exempts charter schools from the laws governing school districts, except as specified. This bill would require a charter school to provide each needy pupil with one nutritionally adequate free or reduced-price meal during each schoolday. To the extent this bill would impose additional duties on charter school officials, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

AAP Positional Letter

August 29, 2018

Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
California State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: AB 1871 (Bonta): Charter schools: free and reduced-price meals
AAP-CA Position: Support

Dear Governor Brown,

The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, supports AB 1871 (Bonta) to require charter schools to provide each needy pupil with one nutritionally adequate free or reduced-price meal during each school day.

More than 340,000 low-income students attend California charter schools. Unlike all other low-income public school students, charter school students are not protected by the existing state law that grants students in need access to school meals. AB 1871 (Bonta) would guarantee that all low-income public school students, including charter school students, have access to at least one nutritious, free or low-cost school meal each school day.

All students deserve equitable access to the basic resources that support their success, including school meals. Research and common sense tell us that children must be well nourished in order to learn, grow, and achieve at their fullest potential. No student should go hungry in a California public school.

Charter schools are meant to expand choice in public education and, by law, are open to all students, including low income students. School meals are a critical resource for all students in need, no matter which public school they attend.

AB 1871 (Bonta) would fight hunger, advance equity, and support student success by guaranteeing that low-income charter school students have access to school meals.

Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide respectfully request you to sign AB 1871 (Bonta) into law. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.


Susan Wu, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
State Government Affairs Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics, California

cc: Assemblymember Rob Bonta (author) via Alma Barreras
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne