Landmark Congressional Laws on Education

By David Carleton | Go to book overview

8
The National School Lunch Act

June 4, 1946

The adoption of the National School Lunch Act (NSLA) represented a significant step toward fuller federal participation in primary and secondary education. Previous federal efforts had involved general financial support through land sales and support for vocational programs and teacher training. With the NSLA, the federal government involved itself in the broader social mission of education. Schools would be the mechanism to ensure adequate nutrition for poor children, and, in turn, healthier children would learn more and better. The NSLA proved both successful and popular, undergoing repeated expansions. Today, it is an integral part of day-to-day operations in most schools, both public and private, affecting more than 26 million schoolchildren each year.

Politically, the adoption of the NSLA was not contentious in the traditional sense—there were no intense floor debates or parliamentary maneuvers in Congress. Rather, the road to passage was one of gradual acceptance across society of the need and propriety of responding publicly to child hunger and malnourishment. The movement began with private, voluntary efforts and continued with a series of efforts on the part of state and city governments, then temporary actions by the federal government, and, finally, a permanent response through the NSLA.


BACKGROUND

The School Lunch Program created by the NSLA was designed to ensure that all students in primary and secondary education, in

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Landmark Congressional Laws on Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Foreword vii
  • Timeline of Milestones in U.S.Education xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: The Land Ordinance of 1785 13
  • 2: The Northwest Ordinance 19
  • 3: The First Morrill Act 27
  • 4: The Freedmen's Bureau 41
  • 5: The Second Morrill Act 53
  • 6: The Smith-Hughes Act 63
  • 7: The Servicemen's Readjustment Act 77
  • 8: The National School Lunch Act 87
  • 9: The Impact Laws 97
  • 10: The National Defense Education Act 109
  • 11: The Economic Opportunity Act 123
  • 12: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act 135
  • 13: The Higher Education Act 147
  • 14: The Bilingual Education Act 161
  • 15: Title IX 171
  • 16: Education for All Handicapped Children Act 181
  • 17: Department of Education Organization Act 193
  • 18: Goals 2000: Educate America Act 205
  • Bibliography 217
  • Index 223
  • About the Author 229
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