Upper Bucks County school district ready to vote on measure to attack school lunch debt

Mark Abrams
November 14, 2019 - 4:00 am
Lunch at a school cafeteria.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Quakertown Community School District board will vote Thursday night on a measure to address a growing student lunch debt problem.

The school district, located in Upper Bucks County, has already accumulated more than $3,900 in unpaid lunch tabs since the start of school in September.

Superintendent Bill Harner says the board wants to put an end to its large tabs, and says the board is prepared to pass an amendment to a policy that includes consequences for failing to pay for lost or stolen textbooks, overdue library books and destruction of school property.

"We've seen already this year an increase of 30 percent in just over the first couple months of school, 30 percent over last year's cost in the lunch debt and that's really grabbed their attention and I think that's the underlying reason for the amendments to the policy," he said. 

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Harner says students could be barred from extracurricular activities, including school dances and class trips, or even graduation ceremonies.

And, those with a debt of more than $1,000 could be referred to a collection agency.

"This is about parent obligations to be able to pay for their children. In this particular case, this amendment, this change is about the students who come in there and claim they don't have the money to pay for lunch and the family has the ability to pay," he added. 

The board meeting will be held in the Quakertown District Support Center.