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Scotia-Glenville schools to raise lunch prices

As food prices at the grocery store continue to escalate, families in the Scotia-Glenville School District will also see a modest increase in lunch costs.

Business Administrator Andrew Giaquinto said that the district announced that, as a result of rising food prices, school lunch, milk and a-la-carte prices will increase slightly in September.

Parents will need to pay an additional 6.7 percent on lunches at the district's schools, however there will be no change in breakfast. A-la-carte sales will increase 17 percent to bring them up to retail level and cover supplier increases.

The increases will only allow us to maintain the same level of operating losses for the program of the past two years. We anticipate an increase in prices for 2009-10, as we will be required by the state education department to re-bid our food service provider contract. We can expect an increase of more than four percent in this cost, said Giaquinto.

He said Scotia-Glenville's prices will stay fair in comparison to neighboring schools like Mohonasen where lunches start at $1.60.

"Our lunch prices are significantly below surrounding districts, some charge $2 or more per meal," said Giaquinto.

The district also recognizes the added strain of parents having to buy school supplies, where lists from teachers can sometimes list up to 10 items. Rene Curtin, mother of incoming first grader, Nathan, said she sees a list of supplies that is much different from the ones she saw as a student.

"Even at the elementary level, the expectations of materials are greater. By the time they are in college they need computers, I wonder if that will ever tinkle down to the high school level," said Curtin.

Giaquinto said teachers are urged to only ask for essentials from parents.

"The district tries to limit the list of supplies parents purchase for the students and we have ways to provide those supplies to children if we are aware that there is a family hardship," said Giaquinto.

Giaquinto said area schools are weary of what the state will cut or give for educational aid this year, and that they would continue to monitor the situation, as Gov. David Patterson has not ruled out a mid-year reduction in aid, although the Assembly and Senate leaders have come against such an action.

"We will manage our budget during the year in a prudent and conservative manner so that we may react to negative economic news with minimal or no impact on our students, faculty and District residents during the current school year," said Giaquinto.

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