School meal prices were discussed at the Mid-Prairie board meeting April 24th. Lunch prices were included among school finance decisions on the agenda. Price increases were proposed in order to decrease the budget deficit, which Business Manager Jeff Swartzentruber stated the district’s current deficit is $73,000 and so far this year about $35,000 has been paid. The district may be able to pay another $10- to $15,000 by the end of June.
Swartzentruber proposed a five cent increase on student meals from $3.05 to $3.10, and a 10 cent increase on adult meals. The larger increase on adult meals was proposed due to the fact that the number of student meals far outweigh the adult meals served according to Swartzentruber. At the board meeting Swartzentruber said, “I feel we need to increase the lunches slightly every year but it’s kind of a touch and go issue of whether we should hold it steady or not because we have been doing so well.” Last year the meal prices were increased by 10 cents, and was raised five cents the year before.
Board President Jeremy Pickard commented on prices, “You guys are trying to find that sweet spot. I just know we’re some of the highest around and it pains me to continue to raise them when they’re already high.”
Board member George Schaeffer said the state legislature is not going to “slap anyone’s hand” for staying in a deficit. Swartzentruber later said, “The hammer is gonna swing at some point”. The motion was carried unanimously to raise adult meal prices and keep student meals at the current price.