Lunch prices to increase in the NSCSD

— The price of lunch was the point of contention during the North Syracuse Central School District’s Board of Education meeting on Monday, June 18.

As the school district strives to provide more healthful food to its students, it faces increasing food prices and declining sales. The board of education voted in favor of a $0.10 increase in lunch prices to account for the deficit. The sole nay vote came from board member Robert Crabtree.

“One in four of our students lives below the poverty level in our school district,” said Crabtree. “I am not going to vote for this.”

Although many of the students in the district qualify for free or reduced lunch rates, the price increase will further strain the financial resources of many families within the district who reside close the poverty line.

“It’s counterintuitive to have to raise prices in times of economic stress,” said board member Sandra DiBianco, “But we don’t have much of a choice.”

The price of student meals will increase in every school in the district and will take effect in September 2012.

All other proposals on the agenda for the June 18 meeting were unanimously supported by the board. This includes the approval of the bus bonding resolution, which was approved by general voters on May 15. The resolution includes the purchase of ten 65-passenger busses, one 39-passenger bus, and one 48-passenger bus financed for $1,250,652.

In other business:

The first half of the board meeting was set aside to recognize student and teacher achievement. Sabreen Mere, a senior at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, was acknowledged for her recognition in the Youth Leadership Recognition Awards Program put on by the New York Senate. Anna Bruzgulis was recognized as the Class of 2012 valedictorian and Edwina Kisanga was recognized as the Class of 2012 salutatorian. Dozens of student-athletes were honored for their academic achievement.

Teachers were also given recognition. Emma Kress, an English teacher at C-NS, was honored as the Teacher of the Year. John DeVries, Joseph Howell, Shirely Ware, Kevin Eager, and Tracy Liberman were recognized as finalists in the Teacher of the Year competition.

“I feel so grateful that I work in a school where people not only show up, but they brought it every single day,” said Kress.

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