Not a big enough carrot…

Turns out the additional funding that the federal government is willing to provide the state-run technical high schools to offer more healthful meals is not a big enough carrot for the 16-school district to bite.

The State Board of Education Wednesday unanimously voted to opt out of the national “Healthy Food Certification” program that would have provided 10 cents more for each meal the 11,000-student school system provided.

The state board reports that adhering to the new requirements would have forbid the district from offering several snack items it currently sells that are made by the schools’ culinary students. Those snacks — which do not meet the federal health criteria — currently generates $150,000 for the district each year.

The state estimates that it would lose $185,000 a year if it moved forward with the healthier foods at its 16 schools across the state.

“These costs included higher food costs for healthier products and increased staffing requirements,” the state reports.

Other districts across the state also have the option to opt out of this program on a vote by the local school board.