The School Board in Stoneham, Massachusetts decided to pay for health insurance of school cafeteria workers by raising the price of school lunches from $2.00 to $2.75. The result:
In an apparent backlash against a 75-cent price increase on the cost of lunch, student participation in the program dropped 22 percent in the 2005-06 school year, Connelly reported.You see, if you raise the price of something, people will demand less of it. It would be a good lesson to teach the kids. Which is probably why they won't.
A $160,000 anticipated deficit can be covered with funds from other accounts, Connelly said, but the board needs to go back to the drawing board to address the problem for next year.
The committee had agreed to raise the cost of a school lunch from $2 to $2.75 last year, in the hope that it would raise $150,000 to offset employee health insurance costs. Instead, the mass student defection from the program wiped out any benefit from the increase.