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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Meal prices go up, enrollment fees stay flat

  • Meals within the Canton-Galva USD 419 district will increase by $0.15 for the 2013-2014 school year.
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  • Meals within the Canton-Galva USD 419 district will increase by $0.15 for the 2013-2014 school year.
    The district runs three kitchens, and supplements the food service program about $65,000 to $70,000 annually. Due to increased costs such as food prices and transportation, the board said the increase it was necessary to cover those expenses.
    Superintendent Bill Seidl said the district hopes to reduce food service spending once three kitchens are reduced to two with the recently passed bond issue.
    The new costs will be $1.35 for breakfast, $2.30 for elementary students, $2.50 for middle school students, $2.65 for high school students, and $3.40 for adults. Meal prices were increased by $0.10 for the 2012-2013 school year, but did not change for about three years before that.
    Discussion surrounded an increase of $0.10 or $0.15. When the district compared meal prices to others in the area, USD 419 chose to set theirs in the middle of that list.
    “It could be a problem for some families,” Seidl said. “I would also think it would encourage families to apply for free and reduced lunches. There are some that don't apply even though they qualify.”
    While the application would help with meal expenses, it would also help the district in receiving more federal funding. About 35 percent of students received free and reduced lunches during the 2012-2013 school year.
    “It's more than just food service,” he said. “We use those numbers to get funding in a lot of different areas.”
    Enrollment to stay at $40
    Seidl said the board considered meal costs when discussing enrollment fees for the 2013-2014 school year. It was a main reason enrollment for all students will remain at $40.
    “I think we try to keep the costs down as much as we can,” Seidl said. “Some parents have three, four, five kids, and multiply that by $40, it's a large amount. Then you're looking at new clothes and (physical education) shoes. It costs a lot to put kids in school, so the board tried to keep that in mind.”
    Enrollment was changed from $35 to $40 about four years ago, but has remained unchanged since then.
    The $40 fee will cover textbooks, workbooks and other educational expenses. It does not, however, include a new required physical education uniform fee of $15 for seventh and eighth graders, which will only be required for students in the class.
    In other news:
    - The board reviewed the 2012-2013 school year budget and allowed Seidl to make end-of-year transfers to close. The 2013-2014 budget will be published in July.
    - The board approved a 1 percent increase in salary for all classified employees for the 2013-2014 school year.
    Page 2 of 2 - - The board recognized Jessica Bowman for receiving the Kansas Scholastic Press Association “Teacher of the Year” award.
    - Jeannie Koehn was approved as a third grade teacher for the 2013-2014 school year.
    - The board discussed looking into adopting a policy regarding the funding of attendance to national conferences. The policy could set a limit on how much the district gives toward out-of-state travel, and leaves the rest to fundraising.
    - Although it has not been received by the district, the board accepted a promised reimbursement check from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for $1,126.25 for snow removal labor and equipment usage.
    -The board approved the following donations: $41.25 from Hospira, $1,943.58 from the McPherson County Community Foundation, $1,000 from the booster club
    - The board approved paying $8,000 of the July health insurance premiums out of the contingency reserve fund. Student insurance for the 2013-2014 school year was also approved.
    - Seidl reviewed district capital outlay projects. Discussion involved the possibility of enhancing bond projects.
    - The board approved the 2013-2014 student handbook with minor changes.
    - The following individuals gave reports: Technology Coordinator Jack Koehn, High School Principal Brent Kaempfe, Middle School Principal Jim Struber. Seidl also gave a report and discussed the reduction of two classified positions within the district.
    Contact Jenae Pauls at jpauls@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow her on Twitter @PaulsSentinel
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