• Independence lunch, before/after school care costing more

  • All lunch prices next school year will increase by 5 cents. And before- and after-school child care is going up by $10 a week.

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  • Some fees will be increasing for Independence students this coming year.
    The Independence Board of Education approved the fee increase Tuesday.
    In the cafeterias, all lunch prices for the 2013-14 school year will increase 5 cents. This will make elementary lunch $2.30; middle and high school lunch $2.45 and adult lunch $2.90. Milk prices will also increase 5 cents to 45 cents, and snack prices will increase 10 cents. Snacks will now be 75 cents.
    All breakfast prices will remain the same.
    The increase in meals prices in partially due to an increase in food and gasoline prices as well as the labor cost associated with the PEERS retirement contribution. A large factor is the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
    The purpose of the act is to help decrease childhood hunger and improve nutrition standards. However, it has also placed an additional requirements on school districts. The act requires districts to increase their “paid” lunches or regularly priced lunches over time until the price is equal to the federal reimbursement level for low-income students. Price adjustments are required annually to prevent school districts from pricing their regular meals so low that the federal government is supplementing the program.
    The other fee increases are for the early childhood program. The board approved a $10 per week increase in parental fees for these services starting in August. Children age 3 to 5 are currently charged $140 per week. This will increase to $150 with the start of the school year. Children under the age of 3 who attend the program will continue with their current fee of $200 per week.
    Patti Simcosky, director of early childhood education for the district, said the fee increase is necessary because of the increased costs associated with operating the program.

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