Passaic (NJ) Schools has instituted a new lunchroom policy that will deny meals to cash students whose accounts are $50 or more in arrears, reports the North Jersey Herald News. Students signed up for government subsidized meals will not be affected.
The policy change was voted in by the Board of Education in September after the previous policy of serving "humanitarian meals" cost the cash-strapped district over $130,000 in the 2009-10 school year and contributed to the foodservice department's $1.2 million deficit. According to the state Dept. of Education figures, 86% of Passaic's 13,000 students are eligible for free or reduced price school meals.
UPDATE: The district suspended the policy change shortly after it was reported in the Herald News and will no longer deny meals to students with more than $50 in unpaid meal charges.