Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando School Board split over speed of school lunch price increase

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando School District's approach to increasing lunch prices could come down to one School Board member's vote.

Of four members present at Tuesday's workshop, two said they favored increasing the prices gradually over the next three years to comply with a new federal law; two said they wanted to increase the rates in one swoop. The fifth board member, John Sweeney, was absent.

The board is expected to formally vote on the increase at its June 5 meeting.

Passed in 2010, the law requires districts to charge enough that the revenue from students who pay for their lunches is sufficient to cover the expenses to provide those meals. Federal dollars received for the free and reduced-price meal program cannot subsidize the cost of meals for students who pay full price, food and nutrition services director Lori Drenth told the board.

To comply with the law, Drenth said, the Hernando district must raise the elementary lunch price by 30 cents, to $2, and the middle and high school lunch price by a quarter, to $2.25.

One option is to increase the prices by the full amount right away, effective next school year.

The law also gives districts that are not in compliance the option to get there gradually by raising prices by a minimum of 10 cents each year. Hernando's elementary lunch prices would rise by 10 cents each year, reaching $2 by the 2014-15 school year. The middle and high school rates would increase by 10 cents over the next two years and then by a nickel in 2014-15.

Cynthia Moore and Vice Chairman Matt Foreman favored the first option.

"Just bring it to where we need to be," Foreman said. "When you look at the increments over the course of a year, we're not talking about a ton of money."

Members Dianne Bonfield and James Yant supported the gradual increases, limiting the impact on family budgets.

The price increases would affect thousands of families. Of the district's roughly 22,500 students, about 8,300 now are not eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, Drenth said. Of those, about 6,200, or 75 percent, purchase meals.

Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431 or

Hernando School Board split over speed of school lunch price increase 05/15/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 8:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Slumping LoMo, Dickerson not in Rays lineup tonight vs LHP


    1B Logan Morrison and LF Corey Dickerson, two of the main slumpers in the Rays lineup, are not in tonight's lineup with the Orioles throwing LHP Wade Miley.

    Logan Morrison is 0-for-12 on this homestand.
  2. Pence breaks tie as Senate votes to begin debating 'Obamacare' repeal


    WASHINGTON — The Senate narrowly voted Tuesday to begin debate on a bill to repeal major provisions of the health care law, taking a pivotal step forward after the dramatic return of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who cast a crucial vote despite his diagnosis of brain cancer.

    Vice President Mike Pence (R) and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus arrive on Capitol Hill, Tuesday in Washington, D.C. [Getty Images]
  3. Rubio helps GOP secure votes to proceed on health care debate


    WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans secured enough votes to proceed to debate on health care proposals, with Marco Rubio of Floirda joining in.

  4. Ex-Buc Booger McFarland becomes ABC college football analyst


    Former Bucs defensive lineman Booger McFarland is continuing his broadcasting rise by joining ABC's studio coverage for the upcoming college football season, ESPN announced Tuesday.

    Former Bucs lineman Booger McFarland (No. 92) will become an ABC studio analyst this college football season.
  5. Trump's political speech to Scouts inspires parental outrage


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's fiery speech at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia has infuriated parents and former scouts.

    President Donald Trump waves to the crowd of scouts at the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree at the Summit in Glen Jean,W. Va., Monday. [AP Photo/Steve Helber]