Lee County Commissioner Kirk Smith voted this week for the county to formally apologize to state leaders for the school board’s recent decision to join a lawsuit against the state’s new private school voucher program.
The commissioners and Smith called the school board’s actions “embarrassing.”
Buried in The Sanford Herald’s report on this week’s joint meeting of the two boards is a comment Smith made when discussing the district’s participation in the federally subsidized reduced and free school lunch program. According to The Herald: “The only uproar came when … Smith wondered why schools didn’t just save money by providing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to low-income students on subsidized lunch programs — which in Lee County is two-thirds of the student body. Many in the audience reacted with gasps of outrage, and the topic was quickly changed.”
School districts are reimbursed by the National School Lunch Program for all meals and snacks served to children whose families might not otherwise afford nutritious food. Schools are also prohibited by federal law and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to discriminate against students.
Smith has a history of publicly “shaming” the school district. Before his election to the county board, regularly protested the school district’s annual Mock United Nations program. Now, his “idea” of giving the poor kids peanut butter and jelly not only wouldn’t save the county money, it would keep two-thirds of the school district from getting hot, nutritious meals at their public schools.
No word on whether or not the school board will vote next week on a public apology for the board of commissioners’ embarrassing actions …