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School lunch, milk prices on the rise
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MONROE - Lunch and milk prices are set to increase for the 2015-16 school year in the Monroe school district.

The school board approved a 20-cent increase for lunch prices across the district and a 5-cent increase to milk prices at a meeting Monday.

At the elementary level, prices will rise from $2.20 this year to $2.40 next year. Monroe Middle School lunch prices will be $2.65 next year and $2.85 at Monroe High School.

The new prices are in line with other area school districts and will bring in about $25,000 more in revenue, according to Ron Olson, the district's business manager.

"Our food costs are growing pretty quickly," Olson said at a previous school board meeting.

For those who qualify, reduced lunch prices will not change, staying at 40 cents.

Breakfast prices will increase by 15 cents in grades K-5 only, going from $1.15 this year to $1.30 for 2015-16.

Milk will cost 45 cents next year, up from 40 cents this year.

Milk Issue

The Wisconsin School Day Milk Program reimburses school districts for the cost of supplying milk to students who can't pay - or can't pay the full amount - for their own during a daily milk break. But according to Olson, for the last four years the program hasn't reimbursed the district for the full cost because the state hasn't put more money into the program despite rising milk prices.

The district has to take the amount that goes above what is reimbursed as a loss. That was a loss of $12,542 in 2013-14 and $11,000 from the previous two years, according to Olson.

At a previous meeting, board members agreed they wanted to keep the milk program for another year.

During a discussion about whether the district should drop the program, members Les Bieneman and Brian Keith said they wouldn't want students who couldn't afford to pay to be excluded during milk breaks.

The full price for one student is about $70 per year. About 40 percent of students in the district fall under the free/reduced category, Olson said.

Bieneman suggested the district should fund the program directly.