A school district in Cranston, Rhode Island has a dilemma. They are owed $45,859 from delinquent parents for their kid's lunch money and they can't collect it. It's not the first time the district has had this problem. For the academic years between 2016 and 2018, the district wrote off $95,508 in uncollected lunch dues. That is not chump change, especially for a school district.
So, in an effort to recoup some of these losses, they are turning the debt over to a collection agency who will presumably go after the delinquent parents in the same way a bully goes after a kid for lunch money.
In a letter to parents, the chief operating officer of Cranston Public Schools, Raymond Votto Jr., wrote, "In an effort to reduce our unpaid balance, the District has retained the services of a collection agency. The company is Transworld Systems and they will begin their collection efforts effective January 2, 2019."
It seems turning to such a drastic measure is in the wake of the districts unsuccessful attempts to collect delinquent bills without much success.
"The District lunch program cannot continue to lose revenue," Votto said.
But don't worry, the children of the parents that owe money won't be cut off from lunch. The district will, of course, continue to feed the kids, even if their parents can't or won't pay.
It will be interesting to follow this story and see how it works out for the district and if it sets a new template for other districts across the country.
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