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Trimming the fat and the budget

Who could find fault in the new state policy that bans fast food from Texas schools? Would you believe PTOs?

When school opens across the state next month, Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut and other popular fast food vendors will no longer be in the cafeterias.

Besides limiting fat content and portion sizes, the state’s new nutritional guidelines hope to make it harder for students to buy fast food by keeping it out of reach during meal times.

That change is prompting protests by not only the food vendors but some Parent-Teacher Organizations that relied on fast food sales as major fund-raisers.

“It’s a real unfortunate incident. We’re a big community supporter and for many years have worked with PTOs, coaching staff and principals to raise money for their schools,” said Chick-fil-A area marketing director Tina Boaz.

Lamar and Bellaire high schools and Johnston and Pershing middle schools are just some of the dozens of schools across the Houston area that stand to lose extra income, parents said.

In the past, the PTOs bought the sandwiches at a discount from Chick-fil-A and others. Then they sold them to students at regular cost, using the proceeds to fund school projects.

Last year, Pershing Middle School’s PTO made $20,000 in food sales from Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut and Quiznos, according to PTO President Cathie Bach.

“We used those funds for new band instruments, some athletic uniforms and a whole new computer lab,” Bach said.

I already knew there was something seriously screwed about how public schools are funded, but having to rely on fast food franchises to pay for band instruments, lab equipment, and athletic uniforms? Geez. I’m not blaming the PTOs here, even though my original thought was “good riddance”. They’re making do with what they’ve got. All I’m saying is that they shouldn’t have to.

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One Comment

  1. Matt says:

    This is my favorite part:

    “The restaurateur has calculated ways he could reduce fat content, perhaps by selling four chicken nuggets in a pack instead of six.”

    That’s the way to make it more healthy!