Michigan Lawmakers Want To Bring Back School Bake Sales

In an attempt to bring back that event many remember as a particularly sugary, joyous time at school, Michigan lawmakers have introduced legislation that would lift the current ban on bake sales, saying school groups are in need of such fundraisers to keep going.

As is laid out under federal rules that went into effect for the current school year that require anything sold as a snack to be healthy, bake sales have gone extinct in some states during school hours. Fundraisers that sell food that isn’t meant to be eaten immediately like Girl Scout cookies are still allowed.

But though the rules allow for some exemptions and flexibility, the Michigan Department of Education had opted to keep the ban in place, reports the Detroit Free Press.

But supporters of bake sales say funding efforts have been stifled as a result, making it difficult for school-related groups to raise money.

“It’s been a tough year,” Samantha Phillips, president of the Rochester Community Schools PTA Council told the paper. Bake sales were easy — kids like sweet stuff, and parents could be involved easily.

The new legislation introduced in the House and Senate would allow school officials flexibility to raise money at least three times a week by selling baked goods.

“You’re essentially cutting them off and saying we’re cutting off this livelihood you’ve had for your organization,” said Sen. Patrick Colbeck, noting a public forum where a Boy Scout troop member had asked why he couldn’t sell brownies at school to raise money.

Colbeck and 19 other senators in the state legislature are behind that bill, while a similar bill was also introduced in the House by Rep. Pat Somerville.

Schools would then have the control to decided whether or not to allow the sales.

A spokesman for the MDE said “it was a collective decision to not allow the non-compliant fund-raisers,” pointing to things like selling Boy Scout popcorn or frozen pizza kits is still okay, since that food isn’t usually consumed on the spot.

“It’s important to note that many healthy fund-raising options are available to schools that are easy to implement and profitable,” he added.

Cupcakes, doughnuts make comeback in Michigan schools? [Detroit Free Press]

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