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.