NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – Michelle Obama’s campaign to create “healthier” school lunches doesn’t have many fans on the New Paltz Central school board.
The board recently passed a resolution condemning the “elimination of local autonomy in the management of the District’s school nutrition program” just as Congress is poised to consider reauthorization of the National School Lunch Program.
The New Paltz district “seeks immediate remediation from requirements forcing fruit and vegetables on students leaving the District to absorb the unintended financial consequences of these standards,” according to the resolution, which was posted on the district’s website.
The board says it is costing the district between $85,000 and $105,000 a year to meet the demands of the federal rules championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, while anticipating additional revenues of only $8,100 per year to make up for the losses.
The New Paltz board “cited the New York State School Boards Association’s belief that local school districts need flexibility to operate school lunch and breakfast programs to give them more local control,” the Mid-Hudson News Network reports.
Meanwhile, another school has dropped out of the federal program, joining over 570 that have done so since the new rules were implemented.
The governing board of Central Christian School in Hutchinson, Kansas voted unanimously to opt out of the program for next school year.
Last school year, a social studies teacher approached the board, saying “on philosophical grounds” that the school should opt out because it was an example of “an overreaching federal government,” according to Hutch News.
This year, the board made the decision after they were shown a sample lunch at a recent meeting, which consisted of: chicken nuggets with two packets of ketchup, about a half-cup of pears, a half-bun, four carrots, three celery sticks and a carton of skim milk. Students in the upper grades get an extra chicken nugget.
The board considered the portions “skimpy.”
“Philosophically, we believe the government has its God-given place,” says Central Christian Superintendent Tim Kuhns, adding there should be restrictions.
“This is one example of the government reaching too far.”
Kuhns says students were doing “the happy dance” when word spread throughout the cafeteria Friday.
“We will have more calories, but the kids need more calories,” according to the superintendent.