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School lunch, breakfast prices to increase
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The Effingham County Board of Education approved a meal price increase on Wednesday that will take effect for the 2009-10 school year. Breakfast prices will increase 15 cents and lunch prices will increase 25 cents.

Board members were given the proposed increases at their last meeting.

Board member Eddie Tomberlin asked about the need for the increase.

“Give me a little explanation of why we’re showing our school (food) fund at $427,000, and why we’d boost the price,” he asked.

Superintendent Randy Shearouse said there are only a couple more months that the lunchrooms will be bringing funds in.

“We have to pay lunch room workers through next August when school starts, and so you have to have some funds in your account to be able to pay those salaries for the school food service workers throughout the summer,” he said.

Tomberlin asked if the system was regularly transferring funds from the general account to the food service account. Shearouse said there was $100,000 transferred this year and in the past there has been as much as $400,000 transferred in  budget year.

“This year, we only transferred $100,000, which is good,” Shearouse said. “But still we have to carry them the whole summer. That’s why you see a pretty good balance in there right now.”

Finance Director Ron Wilson said it takes about $150,000 a month to pay salaries for food service workers.

“We’ve got to pay June, July and most of August,” Wilson said. “Even though school starts in August, we don’t get federal reimbursement until September for August activity.”

Wilson said it would take approximately $450,000 to pay salaries through the summer.