The Columbus (OH) Public Schools Board of Education has approved its $651.6 million spending plan for 2007-08 that does not fully fund a $6-million food service department deficit, reports the local ThisWeek community newspaper. The budget does include a 1-percent contingency that will transfer about $3 million to the food service fund at the end of fiscal year 2008 next June. That number could change depending on how well the department performs financially over the period. Fully funding the foodservice deficit would have increased the district’s general fund by more than 3 percent, violating a promise made to voters. In May, the district’s Audit and Accountability Committee approved a plan to fund only the part of the accumulated food service deficit, about $3 million, that will still remain from fiscal year 2007 once payments are made against it next year. That plan is designed to buy time while the district tries to put the operation back into the black, using recommendations from a food services task force. Those recommendations include instituting a grab-and-go breakfast program to encourage more students to participate and thus draw more federal funding, the increased use of debit meal cards to encourage purchases and the removal of vending machines operated by the nutrition services department that the task force said compete with the commodity school meal program.