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Students’ free lunch in danger

 

SARAH LOWERY

Staff Writer

 

 

Funding for free or reduced lunches may soon be in jeopardy for students of Lincoln County Schools due to the shutdown of the federal government.

Assistant Superintendent for Business Steve Zickefoose updated the Board of Education on the situation Tuesday night.

As of now, the school system has enough remaining federal funding, allocated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to cover the program through Friday.

Offering the meals to students in need typically costs roughly $400,000 a month, he said. While Lincoln County Schools could sustain the program for a month or so to fill in the revenue gap, Zickefoose is not sure how much longer that could continue. The district doesn’t have the kind of cash to handle that type of shortage for long, he added.

The current plan will be to transfer money from a local balance that was previously set aside to save up for additional teacher positions until the funds can be replenished by the USDA.

It appears that the Child Nutrition Department is the only one to experience an impact at this time, he said, with other budgeted federal funding already in place and not subject to any effects of the shutdown.

In other School Board action at Tuesday’s meeting:

  • Board members approved a policy that will allow the local schools’ administrations to determine the dates and times for the 2014 high school graduation ceremonies, with input from students, parents and staff.
  • Board members nominated Bob Silver for the North Carolina School Board Association’s School Board Member Leadership Award, handed out each year during its annual conference.
  • Board members approved bids for the gym roof at G.E. Massey Elementary School, the North Brook Elementary School parking lot and North Lincoln High School’s HVAC system for its field house.
  • Board members approved an additional $10,000 for repairs to the West Lincoln High School student parking lot, with the cracks in the pavement, to be filled and resealed through a labor-intensive process, much deeper than originally thought.

 

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