St. Louis Call Newspapers

Lindbergh board votes to increase cost of breakfast, lunch meals for 2011-2012

Lanane says price increases mandated by new federal law.

By MIKE ANTHONY

The cost of Lindbergh Schools breakfast and lunch meals will increase by five cents and 10 cents, respectively, for the 2011-2012 school year.

The Board of Education voted 4-0 last week to approve the price increases for the district’s food service program. Board members Mark Rudoff, Kara Gotsch and Vicki Lorenz Englund were absent from the June 14 meeting.

For the coming school year, the cost of all breakfast meals will increase to 85 cents from 80 cents and the cost of lunch meals will increase to $2.40 from $2.30 for elementary school students, to $2.55 from $2.45 for middle school and high school students and to $2.90 from $2.80 for adults.

The increases in meal prices were needed to comply with the provisions of the federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which is effective July 1, according to Chief Financial Officer Pat Lanane.

Of establishing meal prices, Lanane told the Call, “… It used to be one of the most boring things and the simplest to understand. I would simply sit down with the food service director and say: How’d we do this year in revenues? How’d we do this year in expenditures? And our goal was always to make that a break-even program — at least. We’ve actually returned a few dollars over the years … So sometimes I could just look at the labor thing and look at the food cost items and say: Oh, we need to raise it five cents.

“Now the federal government is actually taking control of that decision …,” he said, referring to Section 205 of new federal law, which mandates two things.

One mandate is to raise the nutritional standards for school meals served throughout the United States, according to Lanane.

The second mandate is what the U.S. Department of Agriculture refers to as “Equity in School Lunch Pricing.”

“… It’s kind of the good news and the bad news as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “The good news is, is that we’re already at the nutrition guidelines the federal government wants every school to be. And at some point — they haven’t announced when — they’re actually going to give us a little additional reimbursement because we meet those …”

“The other piece of this is you have to understand the basic system and most people have no idea how this works. There are three kinds of lunches. There is a free lunch and the government will send you $2.72 for that lunch. And then you have a reduced lunch and the reduced kids pay a portion of that — I think it’s 40 cents — and then the rest of that, the government sends. So again, I get $2.72 for a lunch,” he explained.

“Then you have the ‘full pay’ and I think most people probably assume: Oh, we pay he full price. No. They pay — and we have different prices — I think it was $2.30 and $2.45 this year, and then the government sends us 26 cents. So we don’t get a full $2.72 for each one of the full-pay kids. And what the government is saying: You know, if you look at that a certain way, the free and reduced-lunch kids are somewhat subsidizing the full-pay kids,” Lanane said, noting the law calls for “uniformity of pricing.”

“… So now they’re saying that over the next two years, we want you to get that full pay to be the same amount of revenue with our reimbursement from the government as the other two so that in no way no one could say the free-lunch kids are subsidizing the full-pay lunch kids,” the chief financial officer said. “So I understand the concept, but that means in order to do that, we have to raise our prices to get to that $2.72 number, and the other thing is it’s a bit of a moving target because that number will change based on CPI (Consumer Price Index).”

In his recommendation to the board, Lanane wrote that he anticipated a roughly 4-percent increase in food prices and labor costs for the 2011-2012 school year.

As a result, he wrote, “Even without the federal mandate, an increase would have been needed to maintain the district’s practice of operating a food service program that is self-sustaining.”

In a separate matter June 14, the school board voted in closed session to accept Lanane’s retirement, effective June 30.

But Lanane told the Call he is “retiring” to satisfy requirements of the Missouri Public School Retirement System and the Internal Revenue System and intends to return to work on Aug. 1. He is completing his 38th year in education and has been chief financial officer at Lindbergh since 1993.

“… Like many other administrators, the option I’ve chosen is one that allows me to be off 30 days and then come back and work and start working on a second retirement,” he said. “Now obviously when I come back, they freeze the first one. And the other thing that I think I want to be real clear about is that all of the options I would have had: Option A, retire and ride off into the sunset; Option B, retire and come back, and there’s probably five or six variances of those as to how much of a survivor benefit, all these different things; this is simply just one of those options and from a money standpoint and as far as the retirement system standpoint, they’re all equal options.

“So there’s nothing here where somehow I’m getting some great additional benefit. The great benefit to me will be because I continue to work after 38 years, that’s the benefit to me, and you will earn additional retirement because you add years to your retirement that way.”

Lanane noted the Board of Education has offered him a contract for the next two school years, but he has not signed it.

Asked if planned to work at Lindbergh for the next two years, he said, “That would be my intention right now, but I’ll make that final decision on Aug. 1 when I return.”

    Lindbergh board votes to increase cost of breakfast, lunch meals for 2011-2012

    Lanane says price increases mandated by new federal law.

    By MIKE ANTHONY

    The cost of Lindbergh Schools breakfast and lunch meals will increase by five cents and 10 cents, respectively, for the 2011-2012 school year.

    The Board of Education voted 4-0 last week to approve the price increases for the district’s food service program. Board members Mark Rudoff, Kara Gotsch and Vicki Lorenz Englund were absent from the June 14 meeting.

    For the coming school year, the cost of all breakfast meals will increase to 85 cents from 80 cents and the cost of lunch meals will increase to $2.40 from $2.30 for elementary school students, to $2.55 from $2.45 for middle school and high school students and to $2.90 from $2.80 for adults.

    The increases in meal prices were needed to comply with the provisions of the federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which is effective July 1, according to Chief Financial Officer Pat Lanane.

    Of establishing meal prices, Lanane told the Call, “… It used to be one of the most boring things and the simplest to understand. I would simply sit down with the food service director and say: How’d we do this year in revenues? How’d we do this year in expenditures? And our goal was always to make that a break-even program — at least. We’ve actually returned a few dollars over the years … So sometimes I could just look at the labor thing and look at the food cost items and say: Oh, we need to raise it five cents.

    “Now the federal government is actually taking control of that decision …,” he said, referring to Section 205 of new federal law, which mandates two things.

    One mandate is to raise the nutritional standards for school meals served throughout the United States, according to Lanane.

    The second mandate is what the U.S. Department of Agriculture refers to as “Equity in School Lunch Pricing.”

    “… It’s kind of the good news and the bad news as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “The good news is, is that we’re already at the nutrition guidelines the federal government wants every school to be. And at some point — they haven’t announced when — they’re actually going to give us a little additional reimbursement because we meet those …”

    “The other piece of this is you have to understand the basic system and most people have no idea how this works. There are three kinds of lunches. There is a free lunch and the government will send you $2.72 for that lunch. And then you have a reduced lunch and the reduced kids pay a portion of that — I think it’s 40 cents — and then the rest of that, the government sends. So again, I get $2.72 for a lunch,” he explained.

    “Then you have the ‘full pay’ and I think most people probably assume: Oh, we pay he full price. No. They pay — and we have different prices — I think it was $2.30 and $2.45 this year, and then the government sends us 26 cents. So we don’t get a full $2.72 for each one of the full-pay kids. And what the government is saying: You know, if you look at that a certain way, the free and reduced-lunch kids are somewhat subsidizing the full-pay kids,” Lanane said, noting the law calls for “uniformity of pricing.”

    “… So now they’re saying that over the next two years, we want you to get that full pay to be the same amount of revenue with our reimbursement from the government as the other two so that in no way no one could say the free-lunch kids are subsidizing the full-pay lunch kids,” the chief financial officer said. “So I understand the concept, but that means in order to do that, we have to raise our prices to get to that $2.72 number, and the other thing is it’s a bit of a moving target because that number will change based on CPI (Consumer Price Index).”

    In his recommendation to the board, Lanane wrote that he anticipated a roughly 4-percent increase in food prices and labor costs for the 2011-2012 school year.

    As a result, he wrote, “Even without the federal mandate, an increase would have been needed to maintain the district’s practice of operating a food service program that is self-sustaining.”

    In a separate matter June 14, the school board voted in closed session to accept Lanane’s retirement, effective June 30.

    But Lanane told the Call he is “retiring” to satisfy requirements of the Missouri Public School Retirement System and the Internal Revenue System and intends to return to work on Aug. 1. He is completing his 38th year in education and has been chief financial officer at Lindbergh since 1993.

    “… Like many other administrators, the option I’ve chosen is one that allows me to be off 30 days and then come back and work and start working on a second retirement,” he said. “Now obviously when I come back, they freeze the first one. And the other thing that I think I want to be real clear about is that all of the options I would have had: Option A, retire and ride off into the sunset; Option B, retire and come back, and there’s probably five or six variances of those as to how much of a survivor benefit, all these different things; this is simply just one of those options and from a money standpoint and as far as the retirement system standpoint, they’re all equal options.

    “So there’s nothing here where somehow I’m getting some great additional benefit. The great benefit to me will be because I continue to work after 38 years, that’s the benefit to me, and you will earn additional retirement because you add years to your retirement that way.”

    Lanane noted the Board of Education has offered him a contract for the next two school years, but he has not signed it.

    Asked if planned to work at Lindbergh for the next two years, he said, “That would be my intention right now, but I’ll make that final decision on Aug. 1 when I return.”

      South St. Louis County News
      Lindbergh board votes to increase cost of breakfast, lunch meals for 2011-2012