12/14/2004

Mmmm, Carrot Sticks

From the Center for Individual Freedom...

Reacting to the national panic over childhood obesity, the Los Angeles public schools banished soda and "junk food" vending machines from their premises. Guess what they discovered?

Five months after banishing "junk food" from their premises, Los Angeles public schools have stumbled upon a remarkable discovery: children won't spend their allowance money on carrot sticks and broccoli. Banning soda also had another, equally predictable result: the soft drink companies ended sponsorship deals that had previously brought campuses tens of thousands of dollars.

Apparently not anticipating this rather obvious consequence, the Los Angeles Unified School District is now faced with a serious decline in revenue. The soda ban alone has cost San Fernando Valley schools at least $300,000 since the beginning of 2004.

The schools apparently believed they could make just as much money by selling wrapping paper and "healthy snacks." This gross miscalculation has sent sales spiraling down by as much as 60 percent and is costing some schools as much as $1,000 per week. Some student stores have seen monthly revenues drop from $18,000 to $6,000.
I am shocked - SHOCKED - that sales of Broccoli Bites have not somehow closed the revenue gap left by the departure of Coca-Cola and Doritos. The article goes on to point out the irony that the loss of revenue is threatening programs - like after-school sports - that might actually help kids improve their physical condition.

The more I read about public schools, the less I like them.