The first day of school packet included a slick full-color flyer for PayPAMS with a statement about a "nominal service fee" for using the service.
On the lunch menu, it says:
I don't consider 5.6% a "nominal" fee. In fact, if you buy lunch for a middle school child for every day of the school year, that would mean PAMS would make over $20 from that child ($2.00 per lunch, 180 days per year.) Multiply that by the over 45,000 students in the district and you can see that PAMS is making real money from the parents in the district through this service.
"Seattle School District is pleased to offer PayPams as a meal payment service for students and families. Parents/guardians now have the convenience of paying using the internet or by phone using either a credit card/debit card anytime day or night. A service fee of 5.6% per payment is charged to the parent/guardian account at the time of the transaction. Pre-pay for school meals 24-7. Learn more about this service by visiting www.PayPams.com."
What does the Seattle School District get from this? Why is a for-profit like PayPams allowed to promote this service using the school district kid-mail? The district seems to be promoting this as a service to parents, positioning it as more convenient and easier then sending money into school with a child. But I don't buy that. Maybe it's easier for the district and for individual schools. But I don't think it's any great benefit for families. And I really resent the Seattle School District promoting a for-profit company.