Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board members on Thursday voted to keep student user fees at the same prices they've been for years, but they raised the cost of lunch by 10 cents starting in August.
According to administrators, several factors are driving up the cost of the federal lunch program, including the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
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Beginning on July 1, one aspect of the law called the "Smart Snacks in Schools" rule will take effect, causing decreases in federal revenue of 10 percent to 15 percent because of new guidelines on portion sizes and nutrition requirements for all foods sold outside of the standard meal.
The law also requires schools to charge students for meals at a price that's the average difference between the federal reimbursement rates for paid meals and free meals for students who are eligible by financial need.
If an increase of more than 10 cents is required, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends a gradual increase to the new rate over multiple years. Currently there is a 16-cent gap that the district must gradually bridge.
Though the cost of breakfast will stay at $1.45 for students and $1.70 for staff next school year, lunch prices will go up by 10 cents.
There are three lunch price tiers for students that will go up to $2.35, $2.50 and $2.65 and a fourth tier that will be added at $2.80. Lunch for adults will rise from $3.10 to $3.20.
But all student user fees will remain stable next year. Most of these fees have stayed at the same level since the 2007-08 school year or longer.
Board member Anna Klimkowicz thanked administrators for their work in keeping these costs down and prices stable for so long.
District 211 comprises Conant, Fremd, Hoffman Estates, Palatine and Schaumburg high schools.