The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education recently endorsed the establishment of a new trust fund to invest in keeping Californians healthy.
The board’s Building Healthier Communities and Lives for Californians through Investment and Community-Based Prevention resolution models the initiative after other state health prevention, improvement and wellness trusts financed by a tobacco settlement, taxes on health care providers and insurers, and a one-time assessment on acute care facilities and commercial insurers. Also under consideration is a tax on sugary beverages.
“Healthy children come to school ready to learn,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “This trust would provide funds to address the epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes.”
The school board has long been committed to improving student health. A 1991 LAUSD resolution led to the creation of the nonprofit Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health to address health challenges.
“When 84 percent of Los Angeles Unified students are living in poverty, our schools are often the conduits of vital services,” said board Vice President Nick Melvoin. “This initiative would help us continue to serve our students three meals a day, offer care at our health clinics and wellness centers, and provide countless other support services that our students might not otherwise receive.”
The initiative would target the root causes of six leading chronic diseases: diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke and high blood pressure. Progress would help people to live longer while also cutting health costs, according to a press release from the LAUSD.
For information, visit lasud.net.
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