Bill Could Impact How Schools Budget For Child Nutrition Program

Bill Could Impact How Schools Budget For Child Nutrition Program

8:43am Apr 06, 2021
As more North Carolina Public Schools reopen for full-time in-person instruction, state lawmakers are proposing several related measures. KERI BROWN/WFDD

The Guilford County Board of Education is whittling down what issues it will focus on in the coming months.  Discussions include a statehouse bill that would dictate how districts pay for administrative overhead costs associated with providing school meals.

The new bill being considered by lawmakers would change the payment process. 

Districts would have to have three months of operating balance available at year-end before it can charge the school nutrition fund for those indirect costs. The current statute requires one month. These indirect costs are an allowable expense under the federally run USDA program.

The measure also says the State Department of Public Instruction will calculate a district's operating budget for this program.

Nora Carr, chief of staff for the school system, says all of this is problematic because they would no longer have the opportunity to recoup these expenses.

"GCS would have to absorb about $2 million a year," says Carr. "And so it would mean taking money away from somewhere else in the district.”

Carr says more than 66% of GCS students qualify for free or reduced price meals

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

Support your
public radio station