Maureen Groppe, writing for the Associated Press, is reporting on Rep. Todd Rokita’s efforts to toughen requirements for kids to be eligible for free school lunches. According to the article, under current law, when 40% of students qualify for the program because of their participation in other programs (as opposed to individual verification of incomes), a school gets federal assistance that allows them to offer free lunches to the entire school. Advocates of this program indicate that, if income was verified for such schools, 2/3 of the students would qualify based on income eligibility and schools avoid the administrative burden of verifying income. Rep. Rokita wants to raise the threshold for waiving income verification to 60%. If this change takes place:
In Indiana, 120 schools serving nearly 58,000 students would no longer qualify for a schoolwide free meal program, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington. An additional 231 schools would lose the chance to use the program in the future.
In a Facebook post, Abdul suggested that it’s only common sense to verify incomes. To which I replied that it’s an administrative expense to verify incomes and, also, the more often you require income verification, the more often a kid who qualifies will get excluded just because of the friction of bureaucracy.
But, I’m just an old softy because, at the end of the day if extra kids get fed with taxpayer dollars, I’m kind of o.k. with that. Because, you know, feeding kids — even kids who are from families that are lower middle class instead of poor — is not the worst way to spend tax dollars. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wisconsin) does not agree with me. The House panel considering Rokita’s bill rejected Grothman’s effort to raise the threshold even higher — to 90%.
Grothman said the average person would agree that, even if 90 percent of a school’s students are poor, the school shouldn’t provide free meals to everyone, because a millionaire’s child might benefit.
We, the People, might feed a millionaire’s child. The horror.
If a millionaire sends their kids to a 40% free lunch school, I’m thrilled to pick up the tab for their kids’ lunches.
Reminds me of the drug testing medicare recipients bills. Cost greatly exceeds the savings. I don’t understand the current GOP culture of hating the poor, but guess it has been going on for decades and decades.
And the GOP wonders how Trump is walking off with the GOP nomination courtesy of lower and lower middle income voters.
Chan Kobun, the Ghost-Who-Waddles says
The GOP, party of “We’d rather punish a thousand innocent men than let one guilty one go free”.
Either feed the kids now in school or feed them in prison later. Would seem to me that now is cheaper.
Hmmm a lot of the parents are out there spending their money on rents, drugs, illegal drugs and alcohol. We bailed out the banks and we are getting bent on a few kids getting a free meal. Madness!
The problem with any government program is abuse. The problem with abuse is the high cost of controlling said abuse. You see I teach at a high school that has all of the students receiving free breakfast and lunch, The problems are;waste,lack of appreciation,and vending machines. First waste , I would like to see a comparison between the weight of food prepared to weight of food in the garbage. I feel it would be a high percentage of the food is wasted. Second lack of appreciation. Many of my students who have been in the juvenile justice system say that the food in jail is better than school lunch. Third, vending machines, our school of 1500 students empties five vending machine per day. They cannot afford lunch ,but have money for snacks. It is a multi-faceted problem without an easy answer
Lessee… the food tastes awful so they throw it away and kids have the option to go elsewhere (vending machines) so they do. I think one “quick win” would be “stop serving the kids food that tastes awful”.
I thought vending machines were limited in public schools when Mitch Daniels was governor. Is that no longer true?