FORT VALLEY -- Meal prices will increase again next academic year in Peach County schools as part of federal requirements.
Prices will increase 5 cents in elementary schools and 5 cents in middle and high schools for regular-priced lunches. Next academic year, those meals will be $2 for elementary students and $2.25 for middle and high schools students. The Peach County board of education approved the increase Tuesday during its regular meeting.
The reduced price will remain the same. About 20 percent of Peach County students pay regular prices for meals. The rest qualify for free or reduced-priced meals.
The price increase is required under federal standards. The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires meal prices to better reflect reimbursements school districts receive from the United States Department of Agriculture. In Peach County, those prices must increase 50 percent by 2018.
Meal prices have increased 10 cents a year over the past two years, officials said.
The Peach County school district has a tentative, balanced budget of more than $38 million for next fiscal year. Board members approved the preliminary budget Tuesday.
The tentative budget includes 10 furlough days for teachers, which have been enforced for the past few years. Teachers typically work 190 days, but 180 work days are budgeted, Finance Director Susan Perry said after the meeting. Local revenues are expected to remain stable at $10.7 million, while state and federal revenues are projected to decrease, Perry said.
Officials expect a $125,000 drop in Quality Basic Education funding -- the basic funding formula for public schools in Georgia. Meanwhile, it is the last year for the federal School Improvement Grant for Peach County High School. The three-year grant pumped a total of about $5.5 million into the school, officials said.
Board members are scheduled to vote on the final budget June 27.