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Posted on Thu, May 23, 2013 : 3:24 p.m.

Ann Arbor school board still largely unwilling to budge on $5K food expenses

By Danielle Arndt

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Despite a second attempt Wednesday from Board Secretary Andy Thomas, the Ann Arbor school board remained largely unwilling to budge on a $5,000 food allowance for board meetings.


Andy Thomas

"I think it has to do with leadership. It has to do with sacrifice. If no other board member has any sentiment toward this, I'll let it pass," Thomas said, explaining he felt compelled to suggest the cut one more time.

The Board of Education decided last week to eliminate a $70,000 line item for discretionary spending on food for meetings and events districtwide in next year's budget. However, $5,000 was spared from the cut to preserve spending on food for board meetings and other board-related events.

Vice President Christine Stead said the $5,000 fund also allows the board to provide cookies for student performers at the regular Board of Education meetings, as well as items for legislative panel discussions that the board hosts with state senators and representatives. She said eliminating the food budget "is like saying we're not going to do that anymore."

She said she sees the legislative panels as an important piece of community service that the board and the school district provide because the panels help residents stay informed.

"And I would like to see (the community) stay engaged in this conversation (about the lack of state funding for public education) and not just as a reaction to budget reductions," Stead said, adding some of the money from the $5,000 food budget is used to support the board's role in facilitating that engagement.

Information provided by Communications Director Liz Margolis says for each student performance, the district orders two to six dozen cookies at a cost of $12 to $40. A legislative panel event costs $65 for linen rentals and bottled water. The information also showed some of the funding goes toward an employee recognition program, Celebrations of Excellence, which requires the purchase of a $100 fruit basket for each occurrence.

Stead said the food — which, for 15 people for a regular board meeting costs $80 — is provided by Chartwells and is "about the most cost efficient way" to serve the group. At $80 per regular meeting, the cost per person is about $5.33.

"... It doesn't mean there aren't cheaper options," said Treasurer Glenn Nelson.

Nelson was the only trustee to express a wavering opinion from the first discussion the board had on the topic on May 15. He said after some thought, he changed his mind and would be willing to support some reduction to the $5,000 food fund, but not an elimination.

"I'd be interested in some cut but not to zero," he said.

There was no further discussion on the $5,000 food allowance at Wednesday's meeting.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


Brian Bundesen

Sat, May 25, 2013 : 12:35 p.m.

This latest debacle reminds me of the saying that "Common sense is not so common anymore." We all "Get" that the $5K is a drop in the bucket compared to the whole deficit, but it IS symbolic, and IS a glaring indication of the philosophy, priorities and approach of our leaders. Its shameful, and indicates cluelessness. I'm glad my kids are out of AAPS.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 2:54 p.m.

Agreed. Mine will be out in 2 and I can't wait. Then I can let the whole system disappear. But with that being said, 200 people will be without jobs if the BOE has its way in 2 years. Beginning to sound familiar, again. Nothing changes. Save Balas and burn the spokes.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

Why are facility issues not more on the radar? We've got a giant under capacity high school in Skyline that doesn't seem to be attracting 8th graders and an alternative school in Community packed to the brim. Let's go back to just Pioneer and Huron and move Community and the alternative education atmosphere to Skyline, so more students can take advantage of it. Please don't tell me that the Community location is the only thing keeping that school "alternative."

say it plain

Sat, May 25, 2013 : 4:26 p.m.

no, @Thoughtful, we need to learn from the educated such as yourself what makes Community work. That's the point. I agree with @LocalJack that there is no way that what makes Community work is the location near Kerrytown. No way. If it *is* the location as you suggest with your comments about the rest of us having no clue, then you should tell us how and why. There are students who end up having to go to Pioneer *and* Huron *and* Skyline who would rather go to Community. And apparently there are many students at Community who want some of the things that are at the larger schools because I'm guessing something like 75% at least of them participate in those activities (advanced classes, orchestras, varsity sports). There is absolutely no good reason so far as many of us can see for AAPS not to consider moving the *desired alternative* that is Community into a larger facility (make it Pioneer if that's "more convenient to get downtown for whatever relatively infrequent purpose Community sees it fit to do so for") and meeting the high demand for it in the process.


Sat, May 25, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

Skyline is not that under capacity. Community won't work with 1900 kids on the outskirts of town. If kids wanted to go to Skyline, they wouldn't be at Community. If you had any clue how Community works, you'd already know why. There are 500 applicants that don't want to go to their homeschool, and not all of those are Skyline students. Simple math.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 11:33 p.m.

The district is putting up these new billboards. What if they run an ad: the AAPS would like to thank (insert business) for donating this months Celebration of Excellence Awards, and we congratulate so-and-so for receiving this months award?


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 11:27 p.m.

If a teacher gets one of these celebration of excellence awards, do you think they would rather have a bunch of fruit, or $100 worth of books or supplies for their classroom? Maybe bookstores would donate something. I can't think of a teacher I've met who wouldn't spend that $100 on his or her classroom and skip the fruit.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 8:40 p.m.

How about doing an article on the cost of board retreats and what the cost savings would be if they stopped having them, at least until the district is more fiscally sound.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 6:01 p.m.

Except for Mr. Thomas, the entire school board needs to go. Are they asking administrators to make salary concessions to help with the budget problems? Not that I know of. More transparency is needed. Do they plan to pay the next superintendent almost a quarter of a million dollars a year. That didn't keep Dr. Green around for the duration of her contract. Was that money well spent? In my opinion, absolutely not. Ann Arbor teachers have taken a total of 7.2% in salary decreases over the last several years. Gov. Synder won't be happy until the top teacher salary is $50,000 per year. Try attracting the brightest and best teacher candidates to our classrooms if that happens. I don't care how good your administrators are. Without highly skilled, committed teachers in the classrooms, a school system is doomed to failure.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

Dear Christine Stead, Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the Ann Arbor schools. I appreciate that you will vote to ax the "board food budget" and hope that you find other larger budgets to slash that won't affect the size of my child's class or the wonderful teachers that my children have. Your job is not easy - thank you for responding to the masses.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 3:03 p.m.

The BOE should be less concerned about having food at meetings and more concerned with how to fund school programs. Opting to bring their own meals would show this community that they care more about the students than they do about themselves.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 2:42 p.m.

Shame on you Christine Snead, shame, shame on you. You get what you vote for Ann Arbor and this is the lack of leadership you've voted into office. Congratulations Ann Arbor.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

If all the kids in the district can find their own way to school, then all the adult board members can surely find their own cookies.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 2:13 p.m.



Fri, May 24, 2013 : 1:59 p.m.

I think there is much more than symbolism in this discussion about the $5000 food budget for board functions. I think the community wants the school board to demonstrate that it has made a very big change in the way it is defining "essential" school district expenses and that it is willing to do the hard work to go through the district budget with a fine tooth comb to create such a lean that the board is doing a much better job of shepherding how it is choosing to spend other folks' money.....many of whom are unemployed or underemployed. Perhaps that is the difference between Andy Thomas and the rest of the board--he seems to understand that important reality. And seems to understand that that reality should cause the board to scrutinize every budget item as if they were a family $5-10M in debt, with creditors breathing down their necks 24x7 wanting to be paid. Most of us can't threaten our neighbors and friends with cutting busing or doing redistricting or sending out 230 pink slips in order to force our neighbors and friends to tighten their own belts to help us out, when we are unwilling to do our own belt-tightening.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

Bottled water? Seriously a big waste of resources in transportation, storage, and disposal. Are all of the bottles recycled? If so, how many have to be emptied at the end of the evening? Paper cups seem to hold Ann Arbor city water just fine. Then people can drink as much or as little water as they desire. One can even use a giant water dispenser and throw in a bag of ice for added enancement.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 1:53 p.m.

Really? You just announced you're laying of 50 people, and you insist on snack money? Do what we have to do - POTLUCK. BAKE SALE. DONATIONS. GO WITHOUT! You're telling me (or my high schooler) to go without - no busing, no 7th hour (sorry, I don't have $500 each semester), and to pay more for sports and theater. So you'd better lose your snack budget and figure something else out, we sure are.

Blazingly Busy

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

This. Exactly.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

OK, so how many of you people whining over $5,000 is going to run for the BOE next time? Anyone?


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 11:54 a.m.

Sounds like they need a bake sale to raise money for their cookies. That's what everyone else does.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 11:50 a.m.

The voters of Ann Arbor should help "budge" the School Board by 1) attending the next meeting and demanding they make this cut as a show of their sincerity while they cut hundreds of teachers and eliminate bus service; 2) help budge out these members with a ousters come the next election for board members. While "it's only pennies" to them (500,000 pennies to be exact), it's a show or arrogance and of entitlement. If these people can't get that through their dense skulls, then nothing will and they need to be replaced with members who are more in tune with those they serve. Agian, this is another collection of people who think they are "leaders" over the rest of us and the citizenry exist to serve them. don't care about the long hours. That's a given and comes with the position and should be a sacrifice they want to make for their kids and the kids of this community. That's like a line worker complaining about working the night shift. Tough, you don't like it, don't run. I've never seen a lack of candidates and if the argument is that you need to induce the best to run with perks and trips and the like, then you KNOW you are not getting the best. All the honest motivation they need should be in the faces of the children whom they are supposed to serve but whom they are serving so badly. Budge these people right out of office.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 11:19 p.m.

Some of us have been in elected volunteer positions, and have NEVER gotten or expected a free meal, as well as many of us spend far more time volunteering for FREE, with no expectations, other than helping our kids. We don't get stipends or free dinner. If you run for a position, you should do it for the right reasons, NOT the perks, and NOT to put on a show and waste time. Apparently some commenters have never volunteered, so they have no clue.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

What a lovely way to talk to people who VOLUNTEER their time to serve the community. And have been elected. Why don't you run and sacrifice all you time if you think they are doing such a bad job. Let's see how you do making horrible budget cuts. Crickets....


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 11:21 a.m.

@Trustee Stead -- now that you are being publicly called out on your comments, you are reconsidering apparently. It shouldn't take this online discussion to get someone as smart as you to see the obvious mistake in having the item even proposed or discussed as having ANY POSSIBLE MERIT at this time. You have lost many supporters on this issue, failing to show leadership on this point. I would still rather see you as president than Mexicotte, but now doubt that you have the ability to lead this board with decisions that are connected to the students and teachers who are in buildings rather than just list pros and cons on matters that come up. Andy Thomas seems to be the only trustee able to express an opinion that is clear rather than using meetings to discuss and share footnotes and feelings and concerns. Trustee Lightfoot and Thomas both speak out and there seems to be obvious tension when they turn on their mikes. I have tension when I see Glen Nelson and President Mexicotte reach for their mikes to say something off topic. This $5000 snack proposal needs to be eliminated from the budget. All the parents support the work you do and the kids who perform. Post an online sign up sheet for bringing snacks at whatever quantity needed to the board meetings and parents in this community will do that in a heartbeat. But stop the dysfunction around the board table please.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 4:24 p.m.

Trustee Stead - I disagree with the framework of your opinion, trying to emphasize and neutralize the discussion by saying that this budget item is one you will consider among others. As you can read in the more than 100 comments on the first article posted on this topic and the almost 100 comments on this one, many community members see this proposal for food for the board as different from the others. While your attention to detail and complexity is valued and appreciated, you are missing the point in your words about this topic. You are making people angry by missing the point. You are bringing more negative attention to the board in your responses rather than helping the situation you and your fellow board members created for yourselves, despite Andy Thomas's warning to you during the meeting. This is similar to when you defended Dr. Green's work schedule concerns by emphasizing that she emails people back promptly when working from a non-Ann Arbor location. You can post your views and write on your blog to try to educate the public about the multiple financial factors that contribute to the district's crisis, but the mismanagement of the budget by prior boards, administrators and this current board cannot be ignored or dismissed by saying commenters on are just negative or mean-spirited. If the board would act in ways to earn community support, you would read comments giving you a thumbs up for more than just the thankless hours you are spending trying to help the community, but the community would thank you for actually getting something done that has some real-world connection to what is happening in school buildings. Your blog post about the Skyline magnet awards is impressive, but tap on the shoulder of someone on the Skyline side of town and ask what they have heard about how things have worked for their kids who were not in Mr. Pachera's magnet program.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 1:21 p.m.

Ms. Stead, You twice had an opportunity to vote for this $5,000 reduction and you refused. This reduction was a no brainer and didn't take any "costing out" projections or estimations. It's nice to see that you are doing your job and looking at the big picture, but please spare us the rhetoric. This $5,000 cut didn't need any costing out or a second thought. It should have happened during the first meeting when it was brought up. Leadership is about sacrificing, something this board is lacking.

Christine Stead

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 12:28 p.m.

We will vote on this item, as we will all items that have been discussed and new items that continue to be pursued to minimize the impact to our students and programs. In between Wednesday's meeting and the week prior, I had started costing out additional costs associated with reductions that were planned and estimated that added another $800K that needed to be addressed for FY14's budget. My priority was looking at bigger items that might generate these kinds of savings and allow for us to make additional changes. That continues to be a priority. I will add in the $5K that this savings will yield, but I am still looking for ways that will save more teacher's jobs than the ~50 that are currently slated for reductions. Saving our programs and our teachers continues to be my priority, and putting the financial controls in place that are needed so that the budget that is approved is the actual expenditures - to the extent we can control that. Obviously if the state or federal government make additional changes to our revenue or expense obligations, we will have to address those as they are applied.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 10:48 a.m.

Cut the food fund -- everyone else has taken major hits -- so should the board. And,this really is not an expense that is needed.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 9:13 a.m.

The AA BOE is entitled, you know! Arrogant, clueless and inept too! Did we really think that they would listen to sound voter feedback? I didn't. Go figure!


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 8:10 a.m.

I can't wait to vote in the next school election! Hope they all get voted OUT!

Christine Stead

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 5:55 a.m.

I will support eliminating this at the next meeting, along with the many other things that must be reduced or eliminated. I certainly appreciate the symbolism in this reduction and the contribution of $5,000 to a general operating budget reduction that we'll need to make which is closer to $9.5M (including costs of other reductions like the cost of borrowing to address cash flow issues, unemployment insurance, etc.). My comments during the meeting were intended to share the other things that those fees covered, as we received more information on this in between meetings. I did not say that I didn't support this reduction.


Sun, May 26, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.

@thoughtful: forget the wading boots, get a wet suit AND a shovel!


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

Ms. Stead, With all due respect, when you had the two different opportunities to show your support of this reduction, you sat idly by and did not support it. It is quite obvious that most of the members on this board do not understand what leadership is. Many of us are blessed with two ears and one mouth. We should be listening twice as much as we are talking.

say it plain

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 12:58 p.m.

Does the Board realize that there are students in AAPS without *any* textbooks for courses set up to be taught using them right now? That the District has told their teachers that they can't afford to supply them? This is what I've heard recently...that we don't have the money to have textbooks *at all* in some cases. That the teachers realize it has a detrimental effect on learning, and on their teaching, but too bad, they were told by the administration. Live without them. When did AAPS become like some terribly underprivileged district that can't provide texts at all for some courses? And we're *seriously considering whether cookies should be paid for with AAPS budgets* given that we're being told our kids have to live without texts?! How many books might the cookie budget buy? Enough to supply a science class or three with a book for each student? Maybe we could act like they do in 'third world' nations and even share the books among kids, so we could educate a whole grade more effectively!


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 12:18 p.m.

I need my wading boots, as the BS is getting awful deep here.

Charley Sullivan

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 10:34 a.m.

But when it was time to support it, well, you didn't support it. If nothing else, please be straight up and forthright, rather than trying to spin this. You have a hard job dealing with these awful budget cuts. Don't start by cutting yourself off at the feet.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 2:43 a.m.

I want a cookie.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 2:08 p.m.

Poorman: I made you a cookie, but the BOE eated it. I keep commenting in the wrong thread this week. Need a cookie, I guess.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 11:19 a.m.

I want to quit paying for everyone's cookies. They keep making me pay for the cookie, but I never get to eat the cookie. Poor man is getting angry. I get this education tax bill and they buy cookies with my money and I don't get a cookie. Even the kids don't get a cookie. Just adults, who probably have already had enough cookies.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 9:14 a.m.

If you are a BOE member, you can afford two cookies.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 2:19 a.m.

"Vice President Christine Stead said the $5,000 fund also allows the board to provide cookies for student performers at the regular Board of Education meetings" Well, since it 's for the children..... What were we thinking anyway. Thank goodness for our wonderful school board, thinking for us "little people".


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 1:57 a.m.

Do you know how much UM spends on food for meetings each year? I bet they spend at least $50,000 each week.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 8:44 p.m.

Maybe the U could benefit the public schools in some way...both being "public" institutions and all...both getting the squeeze from the GOP in Lansing, while millionaires get naming rights and push them ever toward "privatizing."


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 10:50 a.m.

They spend an outrageous about of funds for food -- it is totally unbelievable.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 1:46 a.m.

This is money I worked hard for that was taken from me to go toward the education of children. What makes these people think they can spend it on their dinner? Very selfish. Unfortunately, this $5,000 really is pennies compared to the waste and debt this school board has approved. With this irresponsible spending of tax payer's hard earned money, there is likely much more waste in this district. If $5,000 is nothing, there must be cuts that could be made without letting the lowest cost employees go from the payroll.

My A2 cents

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 1:38 a.m.

The school board fiddles while the school district burns. Shameful!

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, May 24, 2013 : 1:27 a.m.

"Vice President Christine Stead said the $5,000 fund also allows the board to provide cookies" Won't someone think of the chrildren and they won't get cookies!! Sob. How incredibly lame.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 11 p.m.

"Let them eat cake!" has taken a whole new meaning. This is folly


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 10:32 p.m.

What if, at the next BOE meeting, the BOE performs, and the kids run the meeting? I'll spring for the cookies. Best*meeting*ever!!!

Wake Up A2

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 10:22 p.m.

Ask the board to give back their free laptops and get rid of their 50k a year Secretary at balas and let them do their own coping.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 10:20 p.m.

Maybe the new superintendent will solve the cookie gap.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 10:10 p.m.

They should work for the U of M. Zingerman's caters their meetings.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

PTOs or others can DONATE cookies, because, OMG, the world will fall apart if the kids don't get cookies. AA businesses can DONATE a gift certificate or something for the Celebration of Excellence awards. Do these people really want $100 worth of fruit when their coworkers are losing their jobs? As for the current BOE when the next election rolls around, well, " we're not going to do that any more."


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

Less yee who forget what these people have done.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 10:02 p.m.

I just had the pleasure of reading Christine Stead's comments on the other budget article on the front page. Unsurprisingly, she attempts to deflect any responsibility from the BoE onto the state, and blames the state cutbacks for the budget problems. Of course, she surely must realize that cutbacks are everywhere, and being a leader entails making the most of the assets you have, not wasting money on cookies, Macbooks, overstaffed/overpaid administrators, and consultants while blaming everybody else. The food budget, while relatively minor in the great budget debacle, is certainly symbolic of the BoE's sense of entitlement and incompetency.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 9:16 a.m.

Yes, they are clueless.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 9:56 p.m.

Food or Reading Specialists? Food or buses for adolescents? BOE: Please reflect on your decisions and get your moral compass headed in the correct direction.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 9:50 p.m.

I've been to the board meetings. Every time Andy Thomas opens his mouth the women roll their eyes at each other, as if to say, there he goes again. I say good for you Andy. Thanks for trying. We need to vote in some people who know what they are doing.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 9:34 p.m.

"Vice President Christine Stead said "eliminating the food budget "is like saying we're not going to do that anymore." Ok, fine. I get it. One more straw that convinced me to sell my house in A2. Done with the high taxes, low services, and highbrows that won't bow to ANYONE for ANYTHING. It used to be so nice in A2....long, long, ago. Sorry Andy. You tried. Others have tried. There is no point in doing this in the town/CITY - that Ann Arbor has become. Wait for it................


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 2:34 p.m.

Moved out in March of this year. After 15 years, I just couldn't stand the BS politics in A2 any longer.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 3:14 a.m.

You said exactly what I was thinking! I want out too. A city of gangster ethics, just like their leader.

Jack Gladney

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 10:31 p.m.

@justcurious Re the drinking water. Does anyone know the long term side effects of consuming 1,4-dioxane? Perhaps the City Council and the BoE could jointly hire some consultants to look into that.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 10:09 p.m.

I just wonder why everyone hasn't figured out what you have...I guess it's the Ann Arbor Mystique or something....maybe it's something in the drinking water....


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 9:48 p.m.

I'm coming with you.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

As usual this board is completely tone deaf. They do not understand the signal that this is sending, just like with the salary for the Superintendent or other things that they have done that have landed with a resounding THUD in the community. I guess only Andy Thomas is thinking about another term on the BoE.

Charles Curtis

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

This is classic. BOE just keep digging, just when you thought they found the bottom, they manage to dig a bit deeper. We need to rid ourselves of the entitlement mentality. If you can balance the budget, why is there extra spending being done? Yes $5,000 is not much in the grand scheme, but you have to start somewhere. Kids performing dont need snacks. Why does a legislative event require bottled water? Linen rentals are fine when everything is balanced, but its a waste if the situation is like is today. If our reps wont come because they dont get linens and bottled water, its time for new reps. Thought we have public water (buy a few cups), are they saying thats not good enough? $100 mandatory fruit basket, , but again no money in bank and yet they spend more... The little things do add up...


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 9:48 p.m.

Detroit kept digging and look where they are now. In the drink.

Charles Curtis

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 9:28 p.m.

'Stead said, adding some of the money from the $5,000 food budget is used to support the board's role in facilitating that engagement.' Ok how much and for what? Be specific for a change!

Jack Gladney

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

So if you don't have cookies when you host a state representative it's like saying you're not going to do that anymore? Was that really said by the board's vice-president? That's a grown-up big person, right? That actually sounds like something a twelve year old would say to a parent about not having pizza at her slumber party. Seriously.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

If all of that is covered by that $5,000, what on earth were they spending $70,000 on? And why are they buying cookies?! There's an obesity epidemic going on in this country! If we're going to have a discretionary food budget in this district it should be used solely for healthy vegetables and other vegan delicacies.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 8:47 p.m.

Seriously! You are won't budge on money for food. I go to work every day and no one pays for my food. It called grow up.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 8:26 p.m.

Can the reward for performing just be applause and a job well done? Does food have to be tied into everything? Same with the day or two a year when they have to entice some parents to actually come to the school with a breakfast spread and what not.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

This story is in sharp contrast with the other one about 233 teachers receiving pink slips. What amazes me is that the BOE obviously doesn't care about public's perception. Not at all. This is so weird in a democratic society.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 4:01 p.m.

Kind of like the White House!

Heidi Koester

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 8:13 p.m.

Sometimes symbolic impact is more powerful than any literal effect. Yes, the $5000 is small in comparison to the cuts required, but as a symbolic gesture it is very very significant. The BOE is losing an opportunity to show the community that they have some willingness to share the sacrifice. Without this gesture, they just add to the perception that they cannot be trusted with public funds.

Angry Moderate

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

Frankly, I'm glad that they're showing their true colors instead of making a misleading statement that they understand the need to make sacrifices. (Not that cutting free munchies for grown men and women is a true "sacrifice" anyway).


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 8:13 p.m.

I commend Andy Thomas for his continued efforts on this. He has always been one of the board members I would trust the most and this gesture speaks very well of him.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 8:12 p.m.

Just remember their priorities when they come up for re-election.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 11:25 a.m.

Glenn also voted to raise the Superintendent's salary to its current astronomical level before Green was hired - as did Stead, Patalan, and of course Mexicotte. They are still all around.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 7:57 p.m.

So what I've learned today is that Glenn Nelson is all for special education cuts but against cookie cuts...? Am I dreaming? Is this really our school board?


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 4 p.m.

Remember him on election dsy!


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

'fraid so thisisnutzz, and it IS nuts!

Blazingly Busy

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 7:52 p.m.

My child has performed at the board meetings. I'll buy her cookies myself. Heck, I would buy her whole group cookies. This is WRONG. How many buckets of pennies do we have in the AAPS budget? (Isn't that what Mexicote said? $5000 was pennies?)

Blazingly Busy

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

I work for a large corporation and we pay our own way at lunch, even when we go out as a team activity. We take turns buying cake for the next birthday.... The professional groups I am in have sign up sheets too...and I don't get paid to be on the board of a professional group...but I do make sure I get to eat dinner during my early evening meeting...because I pack/buy a dinner.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 7:58 p.m.

Seriously, where's the sign up sheet? Isn't that what we used to do? sheeesh.

Heather Harmon

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 7:47 p.m.

Shameful. My mom stopped packing my lunch when I was 13, and I've been packing my own ever since. And for a heck of a lot less than $5.33 a meal.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 9:46 p.m.

Um, then I guess moms everywhere are guilty as sin if they still pack their childrens lunches?


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 7:43 p.m.

BoE: Bagels over education (or "basically overeating")


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 9:45 p.m.

Is cheese included?


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.

There are much cheaper options than $5.33. Of course, the cheapest option would be to be like most normal people, and to bring a meal or snacks from home when anticipating a late workday/evening. I know the food costs for students don't even come close to $5.33, maybe they should eat what they deem appropriate for them.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 1:27 a.m.

Great idea! Some BOEs actually eat the food prepared in the cafeteria at the local schools during their meetings.

Momma G

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 7:35 p.m.

Let the kids suffer but don't let the BOE buy or make their own food to sustain them through their meetings. No wonder AAPS is becoming a school of choice to leave not join!!

Irwin Daniels

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 7:30 p.m.

I have a job and they don't pay for food. Maybe this should be a thought, correct?


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

News to me Max. I didn't realize the BOE were volunteers. I withdraw my previous harsh criticism.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

and I imagine that you work for free as well


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 7:30 p.m.

How typical...tighten every belt but their get what you vote for.....


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 9:44 p.m.

I voted them out. But everyone else voted them in. Guess what? Same blank different day.