Students will pay more for school meals
Changes for the Baldwin School District food service program will mean increased meal prices for patrons, cut backs in staffing and a new plan for serving to avoid the $100,000-plus shortfall that occurred in the program a year ago.
Food Service Director Anita Faddis outlined the changes to the school board at Monday's meeting. Meal charges will basically increase 25 cents across the board. Four open positions in food service will not be filled.
But, the biggest change will be going to a "base kitchen" arrangement. Base kitchens will be at Baldwin Junior High School and Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center. BJHS will supply food for itself and Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center. BESIC will supply for itself and Marion Springs Elementary School and Vinland Elementary School. Baldwin High School will serve itself.
"Obviously, this is my recommendation to using those two schools as base kitchens," Faddis said. "We're at a crisis with funding. I think we can do these things and save money. Districts across Kansas are scrambling to make it. We're not alone.
"By raising prices and reducing staff, we can make this work," she said. "There are also savings by not restocking those other kitchens."
Last year, the food service budget had to be amended to make up a shortfall from the budgeted $436,000 to the actual cost of $570,000. Food service isn't a money making effort, Faddis told the board, and by law it can't be. But, $100,000-plus deficits are not acceptable either, she said.
Lunch prices will increase from $1.60 to $1.75 for kindergarten through fifth grade; from $1.70 to $2 for sixth through eighth grades; from $1.80 to $2 for grades nine through 12; and from $2.50 to $2.75 for adults. Breakfast prices will go from 75 cents for K-12 to $1 and from $1.25 to $1.50 for adults.
Faddis' plan was approved unanimously by the board.
Other business at Monday's meeting included the annual reorganization of the board. Ed Schulte was re-elected as president, as was Lonnie Broers as vice president. The three banks in town -- Baldwin State Bank, Kansas State Bank and Mid-America Bank -- were designated as official depositories. The Baldwin City Signal was designated as official publication.
The general other official designations for various district staff members, calendar items and miscellaneous matters were made, as well. One change made was moving the June, July and August meetings from the usual 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Supt. James White unveiled the proposed budget for next year of $7,495,765. He said that's down by about $36,000 from a year ago. Notice of the budget hearing and information will be published in next week's Signal.
The board also heard a report from Cindy Trarbach regarding adding soccer at Baldwin High School (see story, page 6). Board members approved the purchase of a bus not to exceed $54,200, but additional information was needed before selecting one of two bids.
The board met in executive session for 30 minutes before approving employment recommendations for Jill Chester for a MSES Early Childhood position and Carolyn Devolt as BHS food service worker. Following the session, the board also discussed the continued lack of cable service hookup from Mediacom to BESIC and what can be done to alleviate the problem.