Closings and delays

Alamance-Burlington students may see higher lunch prices

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. -- Students in the Alamance-Burlington school system may soon have to pay an extra 10 cents for school lunches, raising the price to $2.40.

The change would only affect students who don't get free or reduced-price lunches.

It’s a possible increase some parents say may hurt.

"Lunches are expensive for some families out there, a middle income family, you know it's hard if they've got a couple of kids in school," said parent Todd Woodward.

“I pay everything by myself,” said Glenda Fields, who lives in Burlington. “I'm a single mom. I work a full-time job so it's really hard and that 10 cents will really add up."

Later this month, the school board will vote on whether or not prices will go up.

It’s an increase officials say will make up for the school system being ineligible for a waiver that would have offset costs.

But many residents and parents think some of those costs shouldn't come from students but the salary of the district's new superintendent, Dr. Bill Harrison, who earns $330,000 a year -- the highest paid superintendent in the state.

"He should lower his salary," Fields said.

"I don't think the kids should have to pay more for lunch when the superintendent is making that kind of money," Woodward said.

The board of education -- who set the salary -- has come under scrutiny by taxpayers who say $330,000 is just too high.

"That's a lot of money and that could be used toward other things," Fields said.

"There are other needs clearly in the school system," said Steve Cole, who lives in Graham.

But school board members say the superintendent's salary and lunch prices are funded by different sources.

$245,000 of Dr. Harrison's salary comes from state and tax dollars. The other $85,000 comes from donations that include money from Elon University, Glen Raven and Impact Alamance, a nonprofit tied to Cone Health System.