At least two New York school districts have decided to forgo federal money to subsidize the cost of school lunches in exchange for opting out of rules about what those meals contain.
The 4,200-student Niskayuna Central School District, near Albany, said in a letter to parents last month that although the district has worked to implement tough new standards students didn’t like them. The nearby 1,200-student Voorheesville district made a similar decision in December.
Niskayuna students who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals will still be eligible for those subsidized lunches, the district said, and lunch prices for everyone else, at least for now, won’t change.
But portion sizes—a source of complaints in both districts—will increase in Niskayuna, and students won’t have to take a fruit or vegetable item every day. The district said the additional produce in the new meals created a lot of trash because students weren’t eating those items.
A version of this article appeared in the February 06, 2013 edition of Education Week as Schools Opt Out of U.S. Meals Rules