CPSB discusses transportation and food services

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish School Board discussed ways to revise their budget and adjust lunch portions at Tuesday evenings committee meeting.

The committee began the meeting with discussion regarding alternative school transportation.

"If you recall during the budget process we reduced that line item for this year," said Karl Bruchhaus, Chief Financial Officer for Calcasieu Parish Schools.

At the alternative school's population height last year transportation was costing the school board $285,000.

"That was at full implementation when we had the most students there," said Bruchhaus. "And it was requested by several board members that it be brought back up for discussion."

While transportation would cost less money this year with a decline in population, the board decided to not take action after hearing the words of Assistant Principal Susan Meche.

"We now have better communication with the parents, when the parent comes to drop off their child," said Meche. "We are having more cooperation from the students, because we interact with the parents on a routine basis."

While no action was taken on the alternative school transportation, the board passed a motion for the revised budget amount of approximately 260 million dollars.

But another heated issue that could cost the district more money in the future is the cost of adjusting portion sizes for school lunch.

After meeting with cafeteria managers last Thursday, school officials discovered an alternative to increasing portions.

"Many of them felt instead of just increasing portions, they felt the thing we need to do is give students what they want to eat," said Assistant Superintendent Gary Anderson.

Officials discussed the possibly of giving students different options for sides items in an effort to get students to eat more and waste less.

"This gives them the choice of serving things that they will eat," said Anderson. "If they eat a full meal then their not necessarily going to go away hungry."

The food service department will meet with administrative staff in the coming weeks to make a final decision on how they will adjust lunch portion sizes and menu items in the schools.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.