Friday, April 22, 2016

House Child Nutrition bill would hit remove some from universal free lunch

The House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education released their reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act yesterday. That links to the bill: the release is here; the summary is here. While there are several things going on with the bill, there is one alarming change for a number of districts across the country, as pointed out by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (among others):
If Chairman Rokita’s bill becomes law, 7,022 schools now using community eligibility to simplify their meal programs and improve low-income students’ access to meals would have to reinstate applications and return to monitoring eligibility in the lunch line within two years, as we’ve explained.  These schools serve nearly 3.4 million students.  Another 11,647 schools that qualify for community eligibility but have not yet adopted it would lose eligibility. This is due to the bill raising the percentage of students needed for Community Eligibility to 60% from 40%.
CBPP has put together a spreadsheet on which districts in particular would lose eligibility; this of course doesn't include districts that have been fighting to get their eligibility up to 40% (through making sure the records are all in and students are all registered for the programs for which they are qualified).
In Massachusetts, this includes a number of charter schools (including, Worcester, Seven Hills) and at least some schools in the following districts:
  • Athol-Royalston
  • Gardner
  • Gill-Montague
  • Greater New Bedford Tech
  • Hawlemont Regional
  • Orange
  • Quabog
  • Salem
  • Southbridge
  • Taunton
  • Wales
  • Waltham
  • Wareham
  • Webster
  • West Springfield
And, again, this doesn't include the districts that have yet to get to 40% but are working to be sure their records are complete.
Should this be of concern, get in touch with your representative.

No comments: