Students will pay more for school lunches
By MELANIE AVE, Times Staff Writer
TAMPA -- Starting next year, it's going to be more expensive to eat cafeteria food in Hillsborough County public schools.
But on a happier note, children in all schools, regardless of family income, will be able to eat free breakfasts.
The School Board approved a 25-cent increase in lunch prices Tuesday night. Elementary school lunches will go up to $1.50, and middle and high school meals will increase to $1.80. Adult meals will go up 50 cents, to $2.50.
Assistant superintendent Mike Bookman said it was the first price increase in 11 years and was forced by increases in food and utility costs. The additional $3.3-million generated will be used to offset expenses and renovate and update kitchens.
In other district business:
Several board members asked administrators to make it clear to principals that they can ban from campuses any parents or volunteers who are registered sexual offenders. But they stopped short of calling for background checks of all parent volunteers.
Board member Carolyn Bricklemyer said she thinks it's inappropriate to do widespread checks.
"I think you turn parents off," she said. "I don't want to go down that road."
The board members' concern grew out of a recent incident at Wharton High School, where officials knew that a parent was a sexual offender but allowed him to go on an overnight trip with students.
The principal, based on an opinion from the School Board attorney, thought he had no legal power to keep the parent off campus.
Three charter school applications from Charter Schools U.S.A. and the Developmental Center were denied for a second time. The board had denied their applications in November, saying no charter schools would be approved for next year because of budget cuts. The state, however, said the district had to review the applications on their merit.
The board named three new principals. Burnett Middle School assistant principal Herbert Peeples will be principal of Franklin Middle School; Coleman Middle School assistant principal Janet Spence will be principal at Greco Middle School; and Hill Middle School assistant principal Wynne Tye will be principal at Walker Middle School.
-- Melanie Ave can be reached at (813) 226-3400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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