Wellesley’s interim food services director sent a note home to Wellesley Public School families this week explaining how the school lunch payment system is supposed to work (“It has come to my attention that there is confusion in the school community regarding paying for school lunches…”). It’s a debit system for elementary and middle school, and a cash system at the high school.
As the Townsman reported recently, Wellesley is looking to collect more than $100,000 in overdue lunch fees — that’s a lotta lunches considering they range in price from $3.10 to $3.35. But parents have responded that they’ve tried to pay and that the payment system is screwed up (we’ve seen checks sit uncashed for weeks ourselves).
School superintendent Bella Wong has said parents won’t be fined for overdue bills and that a new round of bills will be sent off, according to the Globe.
(Consider that things could be worse: Boston schools are now under fire for serving kids food that was frozen for a couple of years.)
Parents are encouraged to call 781 446 6250 ext. 4108 if they have questions, have not received invoices, etc.
The problem with the system is that they say it is a debit system but there is no way to find out the balance in the accounts until the balance becomes negative and a bill is generated.
The system is also quite cumbersome, with each child having his/her own account. So family x may have a negative balance in John’s account but extra money in Jane’s account.