The Richmond County School System has about 32,000 students.
But 124 who choose not to pay for their school lunches have created an enormous headache for the district.
Thsoe 124 students, Superintendent Frank Roberson told the school board this afternoon, are "wealthy," "resourceful" and have the means to pay the full price for lunch -- $1.75 in middle and high school, $1.50 in elementary -- but they instead choose to spend their lunch money on juice or water from the vending machine. And they get the "alternate meal," which is a peanut butter and jelly or cheese sandwich, with a fruit and milk, for free because the district absorbs the 67 cents that meal costs.
After a prolonged, 40-minute discussion, the board's Student Services Committee voted unanimously to recommend that the district administration be allowed to aggressively try to get the outstanding money from these students. The full board is expected to approve that measure during the regular meeting, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. today.
For more details, see Wednesday's edition of The Augusta Chronicle. And check back here for updates from the regular board meeting as developments warrant.
3:50 P.M. UPDATE
The Richmond County school board's Ad Hoc Committee decided at is brief meeting this afternoon to recommend that the full board adopt the state's proposed Conflict of Interest Policy for school board members.
The state developed the policy after legislation passed last year that changed ethics requirements for board members.
In December, the board approved the proposed model Code of Ethics.
Board members have said neither calls for significant changes from the policies the board already was using, but the new state law requires every Georgia school board to adopt the model policies, with the provision that boards can add to, but not subtract from them.
The Richmond County Board of Education will hold three meetings today, thanks in part to last week's snow and ice storm that canceled a meeting scheduled for Jan. 11.
The first is at 3:30 p.m., an Ad Hoc Committee meeting, in the first-floor conference room of the district's headquarters at 864 Broad St.
At 4 p.m. in the board room in the same building, the board will hold committee meetings. Then, immediately following those, the board will hold its regular monthly meeting, at which most of the items discussed in the committee meetings will be voted on.
To see an agenda for the committee meetings, click here. For the regular meeting agenda, click here. No agenda was provided for the Ad Hoc Committee, but anything it discusses would have to go before the full board before it could be acted on.