Archived Story

School meal prices might rise

Published 11:43am Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chief Financial Officer Rhonda Blythe presented issues facing the Child Nutrition Program to the Alexander City Board of Education Tuesday night at the board’s regularly scheduled meeting.

Blythe said cafeterias at each of the five schools are working to make better use of their current inventory.

“Our inventory is down this month, which is great – it means we’re looking closely at what we’re purchasing and doing a better job purchasing in advance,” Blythe said. “We’re trying to make better use of the commodities.”

Blythe also said federal mandates may require the system to raise lunch prices slightly in the coming months. Board President David Sturdivant clarified that a mathematical formula is used to determine how much prices will be raised.

The minimum amount it could be raised is 5 cents, Blythe said, with a maximum of 50 cents.

“It’s a federal government requirement that we have to look at it,” Blythe said. “We’ve been trying to keep it at 5 cents … (because) when you start raising prices, (the students are) just not going to pay it.”

Superintendent Lou Ann Wagoner also presented an addition to the board policy as recommended by State Superintendent Tommy Bice.

“We just wanted you to begin to look at the code of conduct as part of the school board governance,” Wagoner said.  “We have that in policy 2.20.1, but it deals with duties, responsibilities and ethics. Rather than rewrite all that, I think the simplest thing would be for us to adopt a code of conduct for the members.”

Wagoner said most other school boards are adopting the code of conduct as sent by Dr. Bice, though some are adding additional policies as well. The deadline to adopt a code of conduct is April 1, Wagoner said.

The board also:

- retroactively approved, with a 4-1 vote, a one-time supplement for additional duties performed by the chief financial officer. Board member Fred Norris was the sole vote against the measure.

The supplement, which covered costs and time associated with state-mandated certification courses to go along with child nutrition, was in place for several months in 2012 and was stopped after November. “I had talked to the board and I put it in place, but then I realized it had never been formally put on an agenda,” Wagoner said. “(This supplement measure) addressed that and has now been approved by the board.”

- approved minutes for the Jan. 15 and Feb. 5 meetings

- approved a resolution presented by Benjamin Russell High School’s Career Technical Program Director Rebecca Marion declaring February as Career and Technical Education Month

- approved a field trip for the Alexander City Middle School and BRHS Junior Civitan groups to travel to Fort Walton Beach, Fla. from April 25-28 to a Junior Civitan convention

- approved the January financials

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