Lunch prices, activity fees increase at UCPS
The Union County Board of Education voted unanimously to increase the child nutrition and After School Program fees.
The school lunch increases were mandated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The new prices will go into effect July 1 of this year.
For elementary schools, the price will increase 10 cents from $2.00 to $2.10. For middle schools and high schools, prices will go from $2.10 to $2.20. Staff, visiting children and visiting adult prices are a la carte.
The After School Program will also see an increase in pricing. Chief Financial Officer Dan Karpinski told the board Tuesday night that they are “woefully” under-marking their programs. Many of them are four or five star quality.
Even with the increase, they are offering “five-star quality at a very good rate for our parents,” Karpinski said.
For the first child in a regular program, attending four hours a day or 20 hours a week, the price will rise from $50 to $55 a week, which breaks down to $11 a day or $2.75 an hour. For additional children attending four hours a day or 20 hours a week in a regular program, the charge will go from $45 to $50 a week, which is $10 a day or $2.50 an hour.
For the first and additional child in a UCPS After School Program, the price for four hours a day or 20 hours a week will rise from $30 to $35 a week, or $7 a day and $1.75 an hour.
The price for a full day, on breaks or summer, which runs from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., the first child price will go from $100 to $110 a week, or $22 a day, $2 an hour. The price for an additional child will go from $95 to $105 a week, $21 a day or $1.91 an hour. UCPS will receive a $10 credit for these days.
There will also be a additional $10 charge for a teacher-work day. There is currently no additional charge for the teacher-work days, even though they operate for 11 hours instead of four and a half.
There is no proposed increase for Early Bird programs, children enrolled in Early Bird and After School will receive a $5 credit.
Karpinski’s goal is to have a certified teacher at each site. There is a pilot at Shiloh and Benton Heights Elementary Schools and he is hoping to broaden to the 27 sites next year.
School Board member Kevin Stewart said he was “very impressed” with the program and “more impressed with the rates.” He made the motion to approve the increase.
This is the first increase since 2006, according to a memo given to the board. Since then, the program has seen an increase in indirect expenses, like snacks, health insurance for employees, maintenance and other expenses. They are also expected to have additional technology costs over the next few years due to aging technology that was originally purchased with grant money.
The program is an enterprise fund, meaning it is paid for by tuition fees.