Growing school lunch debt causes Quakertown School District to propose controversial plan

Quakertown School District officials are proposing a new plan they hope will rein in overdue lunch tabs and stop students from accumulating lunch debt.

According to the district, they stand to lose close to $50,000 in unpaid school lunches this academic year. This comes despite the school having a free and low cost meal program.

Lunch at Quakertown High School $3.50 and $2.50 at the nearby elementary school.

"It's students not wanting to pay the price at the ticket counter," Quakertown Superintendent William Harner said.

To combat the ballooning cost, the district says it will send parents of students who have amassed a $1,000 tab to a bill collector.

This plan has been met by harsh critics.

"I think that's totally wrong," Laurie Diaz said. "The school feels people have money that they don't. My kids are lucky to have free meals because I'm on disability, but there are kids who can't afford it."

Harner expects the school board to approve the plan in Nov. and begin collecting tabs a few weeks later.

The district argues that lunch debt threatens other school programs.

"This is not going to happen in our schools, this happens at home with notification," Harner said.