QUAKERTOWN, Pa. - Student debt in a Bucks County school district has grown exponentially.
The Quakertown school district says it's been forced to eat the cost because parents aren't paying lunch debt.
A new solution is on the table, but some say it's too harsh.
The student debt was about $5,000 around three years ago.
But in 2017 the law changed. No student can be denied a school lunch, regardless of financial status.
"We are on pace this year to probably hit about $40,000" in student debt, said Gary Weckselblatt, the district's director of communications.
Roughly a third of Quakertown kids qualify for free or reduced lunches. The district says that's not contributing to the debt.
"We have parents basically who haven't been paying their students' bill," Weckselblatt said.
A new policy is under consideration. Consequences for not paying up could include not allowing students to attend class trips, school dances, school events, or other extra curricular's.
Those owing $1,000 or more could get a call from a collections agency.
Quakertown's school board votes Thursday night.
Other districts have reported similar issues. In Bethlehem, student lunch debt climbed over $200,000.
The superintendent says the district will write off that debt as uncollectible when it finalizes its annual audit.