Saturday, January 29, 2011
Bill would resolve school meals dispute between DOE and BOE and prevent price increase to parents
by Larry Geller
Bills introduced for the 2011 legislative session would effectively repeal the law requiring the Hawaii Department of Education to raise the cost parents must pay for school lunches as described in today’s Star-Advertiser story, School lunch cost to climb (1/29/2011).
The Senate bill in particular would resolve the dispute between the Department of Education and the Board of Education described in the story:
The board voted 8-2 in November against a proposal to raise the prices, saying a law that requires the department to set prices at no less than half the cost of preparing the meals should be repealed and that any price increase would hurt families already struggling to make ends meet.
Yesterday, though, the department said it had to comply with Act 26. Administrative rules require it to seek board approval for meal price increases, but in this case the law takes precedence, the department decided.
(I find this strange. The BOE could, if it had a spine, threaten to remove the superintendent for insubordination or something like that. But nevermind, the situation needs to be resolved. Here’s how):
SB927 directly repeals the law requiring the increase. HB971 has different wording and would have to be adjusted to agree with the Senate version, or the Senate version could simply be passed by both houses.
What to do:
1. Contact the chair of the Senate Education Committee, Jill N. Tokuda, phone 587-7215 or email sentokuda@Capitol.hawaii.gov and ask her to hear SB927. If you like, say why, but just asking her to hear it is enough.
2. Contact the chair of the House Education Committee, Roy M. Takumi, phone 586-6170 or email reptakumi@Capitol.hawaii.gov and vice-chair Della Au Belatti, phone 586-9425 or email repbelatti@Capitol.hawaii.gov and ask them to hear HB971 and amend it to include the language from SB927.
i would like to see a progressive pricing plan so that parents that have the means to pay the entire price pay it. this federal free, reduced, regular tier system isn't enough and the idea that the children of the rich get the same price as a child of the lower middle class is ridiculous.