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Austin school lunch prices to go up a dime next year

Lunches at Austin Public Schools are rising by 10 cents.

For the second year in a row, lunch prices for students at Austin Public Schools will be going up.

The Austin School Board unanimously approved the proposed prices for the 2012-13 school year at a special meeting Monday. Prices will rise 10 cents for lunches. Elementary school lunches will rise from $1.90 to $2, and lunch for middle- and high-school students will rise from $2.10 to $2.20.

The increases are a result of new federal regulations. Districts that charge less than $2.51 per lunch are required to raise prices a minimum of 4.18 percent. That equates to an increase of 8.8 cents per lunch.

It was director of food and nutrition Mary Weikum's recommendation to raise lunch prices 10 cents for elementary and secondary schools to ensure the district meets the National School Lunch Program regulation. Breakfast prices will remain the same. The free and reduced lunch program will not be affected by the change.

Superintendent David Krenz said the district did not want to raise prices, but had to do it.


"This is something that the federal government is making us do," Krenz said.

This increase comes on the heels of the district raising prices for the current school year. There was only one 10-cent increase from 2006 to 2011.

When the board approved the current prices in May, they rose 10 cents for lunches and 5 cents for breakfasts. The free and reduced lunch program was not affected by the changes, and the price of milk stayed at 40 cents.

Again this year, Austin is not alone in raising lunch prices, compared to other schools in the Big Nine conference.

"Everybody's raising them," said director of finance and operations Mark Stotts.

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