continued “Part of this new Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act … is the mandatory increase in lunch pricing,” she added. “Schools must increase their meal prices by a minimum of 5 cents until they reach the difference between free reimbursement and paid reimbursement, which currently is $2.59. We do not meet that criteria at this time, so it is mandatory for us to increase meal prices by a minimum of 5 cents.”
Swift was met with some concerns from the board.
“It’s just a shame that they’re forcing us to raise the prices,” Carbone said. “We used to raise the prices when we needed to, when we had to manage the revenues versus the cost.”
In response to questioning, Swift mentioned that of the total sales for the year, “55 percent of the paid students ate lunch, 34 percent of free and 10 percent of reduced ate lunch. So that’s a little concerning. We want those numbers of free and reduced to be very, very high.”
Crabtree, too, expressed concern.
“There’s got to be a better way that we can increase the number of free and reduced lunches,” he said. “You have it at 30-something percent. Our poverty level in North Syracuse is way beyond that.”
Crabtree also worried about the breakfast program, saying that the kids do not have enough time to eat.
“I feel you can really increase your breakfast sales if kids are allowed — and I know teachers do not allow them to take it back to the classes — I don’t see why for the first 10 minutes they cannot do that in the morning,” he said. “These kids have to have the nutrition in order to succeed in their classes.”
He also said Swift will have to cut personnel down the road.
“I will vote no in the next five minutes,” Crabtree said, “because when you increase the prices, you’re going to decrease the amount of meals that you sell. And it will continue next year.”
Crabtree voted against the motion to increase the meal costs, and all other board members voted in its favor.
In other business:
The BOE unanimously ratified the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR); acknowledged the secondary student planners, as presented to the BOE, for the 2013-14 school year; approved the amended 2013-14 school calendar; and accepted with gratitude a $7,200 donation from the Northstars Baseball Booster Club, to increase the height of the outfield fencing at the varsity field from four feet to eight feet, and to purchase a new wind screen to cover the fencing.