State Overrules MPS; Food Service Resolved at LEAD Academy
Montgomery Public Schools said no, but the state said yes.
The state has overruled a decision made by Montgomery Public School Board members that would deny students at LEAD Academy free and reduced meals.
On Aug. 13, MPS voted against a contract that would provide free and reduced breakfast and lunch for the 375 students that attend Montgomery’ s new charter school, LEAD Academy.
The issue sparked controversy as concerns surfaced over staffing and keeping the food safe.
“The issue is that we didn’t have the resources to start a lunch and breakfast program ourselves and the building was not designed to do that. So, in the future as we build another building or move into another location, then we might have our own lunch and breakfast program but in the meantime we had to find someone that is certified already to do the USDA requirements,” said LEAD Academy Board Chair, Charlotte Meadows.
State Superintendent, Doctor Eric Mackey later overturned the decision made by MPS and released a statement saying:
“As is always the case, our primary concern is the well-being of the students served in all of our schools. The conversation of how to provide food service for the 350 or so children in that school had been previously discussed. The topic should not have caught anyone by surprise. Despite some disagreement and opposing points of views, the focus should remain ‘what is in the best interest of children? Our desire going forward is to make sure the basic needs of our students are always the priority. We can have coarse dialogue and disagree on issues; that is a natural part of negotiation and compromise. But what can never be compromised is the welfare of our children.”
“We never really were scrambling because we heard early on that it was all going to work out,” said Meadows.
Alabama News Network did reach out to Clare Weil, MPS Board President, who said the issue had been resolved but did not comment further.