Dayton to schools: give kids lunch

Gov. Mark Dayton said today that he will seek $3.5 million in additional funding during the 2014 legislative to ensure all students receive school lunches.

Dayton’s proposal follows a report this week from Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid that showed 46 Minnesota school districts have policies to deny lunches to students who can’t pay. The governor proposed the changes from his hospital bed in Rochester, where he’s recovering from hip surgery.

“No child in Minnesota should be denied a healthy lunch,” Dayton said in a news release. “We cannot expect our students to succeed on an empty stomach. I look forward to working with the Legislature to make this issue a priority in the upcoming legislative session.”

Dayton said he wants to fully fund legislation authored by Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis,  and Rep. Yvonne Selcer, DFL-Minnetonka.

In addition, Dayton’s education commissioner, Brenda Cassellius, urged school districts to take whatever actions necessary to ensure that all children have access to lunch.