The School Committee will raise fees next year. Whether they'll raise bus fees remains to be seen.

While the School Committee on Tuesday night delayed a vote on raising bus fees by $30, it will put an extra 10 to 25 cents per meal on the plates of those who eat cafeteria food. It raised the lunch fees to support health insurance and utility costs for the food services program. They hope to raise an extra $100,000 this way.

"We need to have an increase in prices," said Gail Koutroubas, director of fod services. "Our hope is we absorb the cost of health insurance and utilities."

The School Committee tabled the bus fees discussion until its May 22 meeting because of time constraints.

High-schoolers will now pay $3 for lunch and $2 for breakfast. Middle school students will have to dish out $2.75 for lunch and $1.75 for breakfast.

Elementary school students will only take a 10-cent hit on lunch, with the cost climbing from $2.15 to $2.25. They will see no changes in breakfast prices.

"We will have a slight decrease in participation," Koutroubas said. "But we hope to get bring it back by the end of the year."

The district sold about 400,000 meals this year.

Andover overhauled its food services program this year, offering healthier foods and a breakfast program featuring bagels and, for high-schoolers, coffee. More students are buying lunch from the schools -- 44 percent, compared with 28 percent at the beginning of the year.

Even with the increase, committee members say Andover's cafeteria prices are average when stacked up to other districts.

"Of 50 districts in a survey, we're certainly not the highest or the lowest," School Committee Chairman Arthur Barber said.

North Andover raised the price of lunch last year for elementary students by 25 cents to $2, and raised middle school and high school lunch prices by 50 cents, from $2 to $2.50.

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