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Newark Schools Spend $22K Per Month on Take-Out Food, Report Says

District says purchases were justified for school-related events to encourage parent involvement and to recognize student achievements.

Newark Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson (Patch file photo)
Newark Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson (Patch file photo)
Newark Public Schools spent more than $330,000 on take-out food over a 15-month period ending in May, according to an NBC New York report.

NBC New York's I-Team discovered the district spent an average of $22,000 per month on food from places like Sandwiches Unlimited, SuzyQue's BBQ and King’s Family Restaurant and Catering.

Vanessa Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the district, said the food expenses were justified. She said nearly all of the food went to school-related events geared toward encouraging parent involvement and recognizing student achievements, according to the report.

Rodriguez also pointed to union rules that require food service to be available for teachers working late as another reason for the high amount of purchases, the report said.

Newark schools, which have been under the state's control since 1995, have seen several student protests in recent years against budget cuts.

More than 500 Newark students rallied in April to call for local control of the schools. A similar protest was held last year outside the home of Superintendent Cami Anderson, who was recently reappointed by Gov. Chris Christie to remain the city's schools chief.
john anthony prignano July 10, 2014 at 02:51 PM
"Rodriguez also pointed to union rules that require food services to be available for teachers working late as another reason for the high amount of purchases, the report said." Teachers in West Orange, for example, are paid for everything they do after school. If the contract, which is NEGOTIATED, calls for food services simply because teachers are "on their own time", how many stay late to save on food bills and to avoid cooking? Do they take turns? One teacher may like barbecue, another likes Kings prepared meals and so on. Teachers are among the cheapest people on earth. Many people at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Authority were fired and convicted of criminal behavior for doing what West Orange teachers are doing; Using taxpayer - owned facilities at no charge and not compensating the workers who perform auto body work on teachers' vehicles.
Glenn Higgins July 10, 2014 at 03:13 PM
Insults to taxpayers never stop
john anthony prignano July 10, 2014 at 09:25 PM
The educrats have never abandoned their battle cry,"It's for the kids!"The purposes of this initiative are to encourage parental involvement and recognizing student achievements." Certainly the purpose is NOT free food for teachers. Community clean - ups teach the students to respect the environment, that they are a small part of a much greater whole, and they learn that the average person uses an astonishing 300 plastic bags a year! We pay taxes for the D.P.W., but that's not the point. Auto body students learn auto body skills. That the teachers get free labor and free use of a facility that is funded in part by private auto body shops is hardly worth mentioning. The Breakfast Club teaches the students food preparation, ordering supplies , billing, etc. The fact that teachers get a modestly priced breakfast delivered every morning by students who make $5.00 a week, is neither here nor there. It's all "For the kids.The educrats should stop being babies. They should say," NOTHING is primarily for the kids.THEY are at best, an afterthought. We are out for all we can get, and taxpayers and kids be damned."
Gordo K July 11, 2014 at 06:02 PM
"More than 500 Newark students rallied in April to call for local control of the schools." Fine, as long as they fund those schools locally and stop fleecing the rest of New Jersey.
john anthony prignano July 11, 2014 at 09:20 PM
Gordo K Well said,sir! You are absolutely right!

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