Parents can expect an increase in meal prices during the next school year for Trimble County students.

Board members Wednesday night approved a 10-cent increase for elementary school lunches and a 25-cent increase for lunches at the middle and high schools.

The increase was requested by the district's food services director Angela Adkins.

Elementary school lunch prices will increase from $1.85 to $1.95, and middle and high school lunch prices will increase from $1.95 to $2.20. Employees will also have an increase of 15 cents for lunch prices from $2.85 to $3 next school year.

"The main reason is the increase in the price of food," Adkins said. She also said the increase could be attributed to a state-mandated fruit serving with every meal.

The free breakfast program will continue at the elementary schools throughout the next school year, Adkins said, because the percentage of students taking part in the program is high enough to continue the reduced rate. Nearly 60 percent of all elementary school students take part in the free breakfast program that was implemented this year.

The breakfast prices will return to the full-pay price of 50 cents at the middle and high schools next year because not enough students utilize the service to continue the discount.

"I don't have the percentages at that level," she said.

Employee breakfast prices also will increase 20 cents during the next school year, with prices rising from $1.55 to $1.75.

Also during the meeting, Bob Wagoner with the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative Financial Services presented revenue and expense trends from the past decade along with projections for Trimble County.

The data showed a population decline in the next decade before an increase by 2030. Some of the reports showed the school's revenue per pupil increased throughout the last few years, he said, but the data doesn't take into account the loss of nearly 145 students. Still, the expenses per pupil continue to climb each year as well.

"What comes one direction gets taken in the other direction," Wagoner said, which makes the revenue and expenses nearly a wash.

Yet with a reduction in state funding, the school district will need to make up the difference in expenses from local revenue of taxes, Wagoner said.

"It's going to be up to the local community to provide more of the revenue (in the future)," he said.

The current tax base will allow the district to continue to operate without a drastic increase because the board continued to increase taxes at a steady rate unlike other schools in the area, he said.

Wagoner said all of the data showed the school district seems to be well managed from a fiscal standpoint and will remain in good standing, as long as the district follows its current practices.

"You're operating the district within your means," he said. "I don't know that you can do it more fiscally than you are."

Wagoner did suggest taking a detailed look at personnel needs when current employees retire or leave, but the district has always added positions when needed and eliminated when positions weren't needed during the school year.

"You're doing everything you can do with what's given to you," Wagoner said. "There's always going to be more needs than money to fill."

In other business:

• Bedford Elementary School fifth-grader Samantha Wright shared her winning essay entry at the district level for the AARP Grandparent of the Year contest. Wright shared several reasons her grandfather, Samuel T. Gardner, should win the Grandparent of the Year contest including his humor and calm demeanor.

• Bedford Elementary School Principal Debbie Beeles told board members the school received funds from Louisville Gas & Electric for the purchase of nine microscopes for the school.

"We were tickled with that," she said.

The school also received 20 iPads for the school thanks to a donation from the Etscorn Foundation of Louisville, Ky.

• Trimble County High School Principal Rachael Adams noted an Artapalooza event will be held at the school from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The event will feature several different music, dance and art exhibits throughout the day.

• Administrators and teachers look to implement a transition or bridging program for incoming high school freshmen next year, Adams said. No details have been set yet, but Adams hopes to continue a summer program to allow incoming students a chance to visit the high school for a couple of days to familiarize themselves with teachers, administrators and the building.

• School board members approved the 2013 Trimble County High School graduation date for Saturday, May 25 at 10 a.m. Board members plan to approve a calendar change during the upcoming meeting on April 3 to make May 24 the last student day of the 2012-2013 school year.