School board considers student travel policy changes

Published on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 by Kelly Sullivan

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Blaine school board members discussed allowances provided to students traveling on school trips at their regular meeting on Monday, July 23.

The amounts provided for student meals hasn’t been reviewed since 2008 and are currently set at $6 for breakfast, $7 for lunch and $10 for dinner.

School board member Todd Berge said he did not believe the current allowance was adequate  to feed the students, and it forces the students to make up the difference.

“If it is for a school activity, the school should cover it,” Berge said.

Generally the group leader, such as a coach or teacher, is given the cash for all the students and they pay for the entire group, district business manager Amber Porter said.

If students do not use all of the money intended for a particular meal, the remaining money does not carry over until the next meal. Sometimes the leaders will take it upon themselves to purchase food for meals at a store such as Costco, Porter said.

Occasionally hotels will offer continental breakfasts, reducing breakfast costs. Director Susan Holmes said the only places where the allowances would be sufficient would be fast food outlets like McDonalds, raising concerns about the the nutritional value of the meal. “However, money is scarce for school activities right now,” she said.

Berge suggested raising the amount to a set $30 per day and let the group leaders and students  decide how much they use for each meal. Blaine school district superintendent Ron Spanjer said the burden would be on the Associated Student Body fund, which is set up specifically for funding student resources.

He agreed the policy should go to further review.The student travel policy will go through its second reading on Monday, August 27, after the dollar amounts for meal allowances are reviewed.

For more information visit the school board page at or call the school district office at 360/332-5881.