TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, are in a foods fight over faculty lunch funding.
Fried claims DeSantis, a Republican, disregarded her request to immediate emergency funding to offset pandemic-connected losses to school districts’ nutritional programs, but the governor stated he’s been serving to all alongside.
This 7 days, Fried introduced she secured $93 million to help college districts make up losses to their diet plans incurred throughout the pandemic.
All through that announcement, she took this jab at DeSantis.
“We despatched at least one particular, if not two, letters to the governor inquiring for revenue to be allotted to the university dietary plan and in no way received a response,” mentioned Fried.
DeSantis’ office environment is pushing back again from Fried’s assert.
“We definitely help giving funding for schools to make positive they can continue to provide diet packages, that is not what is up for discussion,” a spokesperson advised Information4Jax. “The point is that with out provocation, the Commissioner of Agriculture alleged that Governor DeSantis did not aid this funding, or giving meals for students. This is unequivocally wrong. Again, the Governor’s Business approved the finances amendment to make the funding possible.”
The governor’s business also pointed to $9 billion in immediate federal emergency funding obtained by school districts, in addition an more $1.4 billion the governor allocated himself.
His office environment stated university districts had the ability to use that dollars how they noticed healthy, like on faculty lunch programs.
News4Jax did ask a DeSantis spokesperson for details on how a great deal federal funds was employed for school lunch systems, but that selection was not easily obtainable.
Regardless, Fried explained the Division of Agriculture observed college districts had dropped $262 million in nutritional funding in the 2020 school 12 months, even with the federal bucks they received.
“Governors in other states like California gave $112 million from their CARES dollars, North Carolina $75 million, Kentucky $30 million. But however right here in the point out of Florida, that didn’t occur,” claimed Fried.
The dispute appears to boil down to irrespective of whether it’s better to permit districts make their very own decisions on how to invest aid resources or to set aside a individual pot of funds for the particular purpose of dietary funding.
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