Todd proposes universal free school lunch, back-to-school tax holiday

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Brandon Todd is the Ward 4 D.C. Council member. (photo courtesy of Brandon Todd)

Ward 4 D.C. Council member Brandon Todd introduced two education-related bills Sept. 19 — one that would provide a free lunch for all public school students and another that calls for an annual tax holiday before the start of classes.

The Universal Free Lunch for All Amendment Act of 2017 would provide healthy lunches for all students enrolled in D.C. public schools, public charter schools and participating private schools. Many major U.S. cities — including Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas and New York — provide lunches to all students regardless of financial need, according to a news release.

“With many families reporting that they are spending upwards of $50 per student, per month on school lunch, this bill would put more money in the pockets of D.C. parents,” Todd said in the release.

Meanwhile, the Back-to-School Tax Holiday Amendment Act of 2017 would waive sales taxes on certain purchases from the first Friday in August until the following Sunday. Items that would be eligible would include school supplies priced at $20 or less per item, accessories costing $100 or less, and technology at $750 or less.

“Every year, District parents flock to Maryland or Virginia to take advantage of their back-to-school supply tax holidays; it’s time we level the playing field,” Todd said in the release.