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School board agrees to raise meal prices

By Staff | May 16, 2014

The Rugby School Board agreed at Tuesday’s regular meeting to increase breakfast and lunch prices by 25 cents for next school year.

“We have to increase a certain amount over the next few years to get our lunch costs closer to the state average,” Rugby Public Schools Superintendent Mike McNeff said. “This is required by the state. We will not increase the cost of seconds. They will remain at 50 cents.”

At regular price, lunch is currently $2.15 at the high school and $2.05 at Ely Elementary. Breakfast costs $1.55 at both locations.

McNeff said the state has stated that if a school is under $2.65 for lunch, the price must increase every year until it reaches that mark.

“I think it’s important that we’re low,” McNeff said. “We provide a good meal for what parents pay for. In a three-year period you have to raise it at least 15 cents, and we haven’t in quite a few years, so we decided on 25 to offset some costs.”

McNeff updated the board on the school district’s accreditation agency’s visit in March. The schools will address suggested improvements, including in professional development activities.

The board also discussed that the schools will receive less valuation beginning next year from the wind towers due to tax breaks. Pierce County auditor Karin Fursather explained that the schools will lose 26,000 in tax dollars.

The Rugby Wind Farm 230kv Line will no longer be ad valorem, or according to value, but instead goes to payment in lieu of at $300 per mile.

McNeff informed the board that he is a member of a legislative focus group with 11 other superintendents from districts of all sizes in the state. He has attended two meetings as the group is lobbying for an increase in funds and adjustments to the funding formula. The superintendents will advise legislators on the potential impacts bills have on education.

McNeff said the schools will do their best to deal with punitive sanctions due to No Child Left Behind, but he doesn’t expect a change in the national education requirement until the next president is in power.

“It’s a broken law and everybody knows it and it’s become a political issue Republicans and Democrats don’t want to address,” McNeff said.

NLCB requires 100 percent of students be proficient in reading and math.

McNeff also shared the Demographics Report and Long Range Planning presentation he made in April. The report can be found at the school board page on the school district’s website. Click on the May Online RPS School Board Agenda link.

– Tribune Staff Report

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