No Free School Lunches

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The Great Neck School District adopted a new policy on charging school meals at the school board’s June 16 public action meeting. The proposal was introduced in May and discussed a second time at the school board’s June 2 meeting.
The policy seeks to help the district inform parents (or guardians) whose children buy meals at school of their obligations regarding payment and to maintain a system of accounting for charged meals that follows state guidelines.
SchoolPolicy_070414ATo date, if a child had no lunch or lunch money, the school district would still provide the meal. However, parents did not always repay the money, adding to the district’s financial stress. The district rejected the suggestion of registering parental credit card numbers for students’ use in the cafeteria at the earlier meeting.
The new policy states that the school board does “recognize” that a student might forget to bring lunch money to school and, thus, to ensure that no child goes hungry, and to “promote responsible student behavior,” but yet to minimize any monetary burden on the district, there shall be guidelines. Only regular meals, and only what is on the menu, may be charged; no snacks may be charged; a computer point-of-sale system will register charged meals, to ease collecting payments.
The policy also states that if school authorities suspect that a student is abusing this policy, they must first give notice to the parent or guardian, and then the privilege may be refused.
The policy, which applies to all schools in the district, is to be communicated to all parents on an annual basis, prior to the opening day of school.

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