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.

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

Leave a comment