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ERIC Number: EJ726626
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Oct
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6439
Mending Vending: Administrators Face a Dilemma
Sternberg, Ruth E.
School Administrator, v62 n9 p20 Oct 2005
Phil Gainous is in a sticky spot. The board of education in Montgomery County, Md., decided this was the year when sugary sodas and non-nutritious snacks must disappear from high school vending machines, replaced by healthier options. Gainous isn't against promoting healthy habits. But as the veteran principal of Montgomery Blair High School, the county's largest and most economically diverse, he says replacing the vending contents will deprive his 3,300 students in other ways. The school is located in Silver Spring, one of Maryland's sprawling suburbs, and many of its students aren't so well off. Some students at Blair tend to come from families that can't afford what their neighbors have. Many don't have money for extras like schools trips, or even for the fees required to take the Advanced Placement or SAT exams. Gainous has relied on profits from vending contracts, earning as much as $200,000 per year, to underwrite a broad spectrum of student needs and interests. Since the vending machine contents changed to fruit juices, bottled water, popcorn and lower-calorie versions of cheese puffs and potato chips, students haven't been buying as much. During the past school year, Montgomery Blair received just $55,000 in vending profits. Gainous tried to use these public appearances as opportunities to share the story of his school's unfunded needs, and he has won some sympathy. One retired teacher donated $2,000 to offset test registration fees for students from lower-income families. Parents do their part to fill these needs. They held a silent auction in April, raising $15,000. "But it doesn't go far," says Fran Rothstein, the PTA president.
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: SAT (College Admission Test)