Making Sense of School Health Policy

Thanks to the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, the National Association of State Boards of Education and SHAPE America, we have the latest State School Policy Matrix, version 2.0.  The first and last edition was released in 2014.

As the report explains, there is a complex sea of state and local stakeholders responsible for establishing and implementing state school health policies.  Taken together, we can see who is responsible and for what.

"The Matrix covers state-level school health policies for the following topics: competitive foods and beverages, physical education and physical activity, and administration of medication in the school environment. The State School Health Policy Matrix 2.0 outlines relevant state-level policies for each of these areas, including a direct link to the policy. Perhaps more importantly, it indicates which political entity or agency adopted the policy or issued guidance. In other words, it helps to answer the question – Who has historically had the authority to make policy changes in the areas of competitive foods and beverages, physical education and physical activity, and administration of medication in each state?"

This is a critical resource for advocates seeking to strengthen school policies and enact change.  With a complicated landscape of those "in charge," this report helps us make sense of who to target, and around what particular policy.

Here's just one example: California.  Under the "competitive foods" section, we are provided links to both legislative and FAQs governing foods and beverages. The food policy can be found here, beverages here.  

Take a look, find your state and see how it fares compared to others.  Thanks NACCHO, NASBE, and SHAPE America for this great report!