Federal mandate bumps lunch prices higher

Published 5:47 pm Monday, July 22, 2013

Austin students will need to add a bit of loose change to their midday diet this coming school year.

The Austin Public Schools Board nudged lunch prices 10 cents higher for the 2013-2014 school year at a Monday afternoon board meeting. Mark Stotts, director of finance and operations, said the district was required to raise the cost of school lunches by 10 cents — which brings lunches to $2.10 at elementary schools and $2.30 for students in higher grades — to comply with National School Lunch Program regulations on the reimbursement the district receives for a free lunch.

“We’re required to adopt lunch prices that are equal to the reimbursement,” Stotts said.

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Superintendent David Krenz said the district would not have needed to raise prices if not for the national program’s mandate to do so.

The board also accepted the low bids it received for bakery and dairy products during the meeting. Bimbo Bakeries of Savage offered the lowest bid at a slight increase over last year’s bakery prices. Kemps of Rochester was the only dairy bidder, and offered pricing at a 12 percent increase over last year.

In regards to personnel, the board approved raising paraprofessional wages by 35 cents this coming school year and 30 cents in 2014-2015, and raising food and nutrition service employees’ wages by 20 to 40 cents this year and also next year, depending on the position. These figures resulted from negotiations between the employees and Mary Burroughs, the district’s human resources director.

The board also decided to renew the 21,300-square-foot section of Queen of Angels Catholic Church it uses for the Community Learning Center for another year, at $8,550 in rent a month. Stotts said that amount was reasonable given the space that section of the church provides, which includes approximately 19 classrooms, storage areas, offices and a gym.


For more about the Austin Public Schools Board, look to Tuesday’s print edition of the Austin Daily Herald.