MU accepting donations for Angel Fund


WEST MILTON — The Milton-Union Exempted Village School District is currently accepting donations for its “Angel Fund,” which provides school breakfast or lunch for students who don’t have funds available on their lunch accounts.

“We have a lunch account that we call the Angel Fund,” district Treasurer David Stevens said during the Milton Union Board of Education meeting on Monday, Oct. 17. “Any donations that we receive help students who may not have funds in their lunch account.”

“We have been using the Angel Fund a lot this year,” he said, “so anyone who would like to donate some funds for kids to have lunch; we put that right into that account.”

School officials expected a decline in the number of breakfasts and lunches being served since federal free lunch programs that were started during the COVID pandemic have ended, but the district is now serving more meals than before.

“We are seeing a lot of activity in the cafeteria fund,” Stevens said. “We’re higher than we were when we were selling lunches back in 2020.”

“Our participation has increased,” he said, “so there was a lot more activity.”

In other business, board members also saw a presentation by Nate Chrisman on expanding the Goodlife Program for ninth-grade students.

“Right now, they do it on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” Chrisman said. “Kids really responded well.”

“We talked about moving it to Health class,” he said. “When we are in Health classes it aligns with state standards because of the prevention component, so we’re not actually taking any instructional time away; but it’s actually adding to it.”

The cost of the program can often be covered by grants or other funding sources.

“About half of our schools are self-pay, from the district itself,” Chrisman said. “The Miami County Educational Service Center (ESC) has funded 10 schools in Miami County for a portion of the costs.”

Board members also approved the district’s joining of the Equalis Group Cooperative Purchasing organization, and several upcoming school trips including the FFA trip to the Ohio FFA Leadership Conference in Columbus on Jan. 14 and 15, the Business Professionals of America (BPA)’s trips to the Ohio BPA State Contest in Columbus on March 9 and 10, and the BPA National Convention in Anaheim, CA April 26 through April 30.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, board members also heard from district residents Richard Detrick and Raymond Landis regarding the district’s 17 and 10.9-mil tax levies.

“There are a lot of people in the public who have strong objections to you deciding to change the 17-mil and the 10.9-mil levies to continuing, from a five-year renewal,” Detrick said. “Many of these same people don’t think the school is doing a good job of teaching our kids.”

“I have to say, it’s not far from a lawsuit,” Detrick said, “so I want you to take this very seriously.”

“We requested copies of the emails that have been sent by the superintendent to the members of the board,” Landis said. “There’s 43 pages of them.”

Landis said the district gave him some of the emails earlier this year, but the files that were included as attachments to the messages were not included. “The attachments referenced were not complete,” he said.

“I spoke with Mr. Detrick on the phone about this, and said there would have to be redaction from the attorney,” Stevens said. “He said we didn’t want to cause more taxpayer money to be spent, and he didn’t want them.”

“We take public records requests very seriously, and try to fulfill all requests in a timely and responsible manner,” Stevens said after the meeting. “If an attorney needs to be contacted, we will contact them if we have to; but our job is to respond to requests, which I felt like we had in this matter.”

Detrick and Landis also requested a meeting with members of the school board later this week.

“If we don’t hear from you in the next two days to schedule a meeting, it will be our understanding that you don’t want to meet with us,” Detrick said.

“The BOE president would like me to try and schedule a meeting,” district Superintendent Dr. Brad Ritchey said after the meeting. “That is the board’s intent.”

The board of education’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. in the board of education conference room.

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