school board

Seeking a way to continue free lunch

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The De Smet Board of Education met briefly on Mon., June 13 at the De Smet High School. The two main topics discussed were their desire to continue free lunches and the upcoming elementary building project/bond referendum election.

Shane Roth, school board president, said he’s a proponent of going another year without charging for school lunches.

“Education is most important, followed by making sure students’ tummies are full,” said Roth.

Families are facing an average of $600 in increased expenses each month because of inflation. The board would like to help by continuing to offer free and reduced meals.

If the De Smet School can get everyone to fill out the form for free/reduced priced meals, it would help substantially. Typically, about 14% of those who apply qualify for free/reduced priced meals.

The school board estimates that the cost for meals will be close to $200,000 in the next school year. Roth informed everyone attending that the school board has always had to supplement the difference. State and Federal government funding has never been enough to cover all the expenses, and with food prices and other costs rising, they will need more help.

The board will continue to research, looking into different ways to provide free lunches for all of the students. They will have to hold off another month before making any decisions; they need to wait to find out what the state will require to receive funding. Roth does not want to risk losing any of the free food commodities that they receive.

Roth briefly discussed the upcoming elementary building project/bond referendum election which will be held June 21 at the high school. The school has volunteers who are currently canvassing the area door to door around town, and others who are calling to make sure everyone who is eligible to vote is aware of the upcoming election.

Roth said he’s feeling pretty good about the upcoming bond referendum election. He believes it will pass.

“This community as a whole has always backed education.”

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