The Fort Worth school district spent almost $10,000 in 2018 on meals for trustees during their board meetings.
“They come straight from work,” said Elsie Schiro, chief financial officer for Fort Worth schools. “They are going to be hungry. It’s a common practice.”
The $9,941 spent in 2018 was slightly more than the $9,547 bill in fiscal year 2017.
In separate analysis, the Star-Telegram found that the city of Fort Worth paid a little more than $16,000 in 2018 for meals catered to council meetings for elected officials and staff, according to records obtained by the Star-Telegram. That doesn’t include meals for other meetings and retreats.
Fort Worth school district officials plan for 25 board meetings per fiscal year, which runs from July 1 through June 30. The district budgets about $500 per meeting.
The district typically plans to feed about 35 people, including nine board members, two meal servers, a custodian, about five educational broadcasting staff members, two police officers, the board executive secretary, leadership staff and the superintendent.
However, few administrative staff members actually eat during the meeting. School board members typically eat during the work session in a room that is separate from the board room.
Meals are typically ordered from the Black-eyed Pea, Los Vaqueros Restaurant, City Kitchen Catering, Altoni and Fernando’s Catering. Sometimes, meals are provided by the district cafeteria services, Schiro said.
Entrees have included grilled chicken, beef enchiladas, slow-cooked brisket, chicken fried steak and pecan crusted chicken with green beans and herb-roasted red potatoes.
District spokesman Clint Bond said the meal providers are approved vendors who applied a request for proposals.
There are usually no leftovers, but if there are, they are given to servers, custodians, employees or board members, he said.
Fort Worth school board trustees serve four-year terms with no pay.