Free School Lunch Increase Reflects Bad Economy!

According to a recent New York Times article titled, ” Lines Grow for Free School Meals Thanks to Economy,” by Sam Dillion there is a breathtaking increase in the number of students now enrolling in the free meals program.

Last Year, the Department of Agriculture, the department responsible for administering the meals programs throughout the nation’s public schools, cited a 17 percent increase in students receiving subsidized lunch. In 2010 there were 21 million students enrolled in the program. This increased from 18 million enrolled in the program during the 2006-2007 academic school year.

To qualify for free lunch, a family must be in the 130 percent of poverty level bracket. This equates to a family household income of $29,055 for a family of 4 members. To receive reduced lunch the family income must not surpass $41,348 for a household of 4 members. If the family’s income meets this standard then the reduce rate is 40 cents for the meal daily.

Although, most experts believe that most of the increase enrollment in the meals program is directly related to increase poverty being experienced by families across the nation, the experts also say it is not the only factor to consider.

In 2004 congress passed what is known as the direct certificate requirement. This requires schools districts to essentially match the students receiving food stamps with their enrollment records and automatically enroll these students in the meals program. It is noted that more and more school districts are following the congressional requirement.… <Read More>


Lunch at 10 A.M. due to Overcrowded Classrooms

 

overcrowded classroom

Bagels, eggs, pancakes and orange juice seems to be the correct food to eat at 10 A.M. It’s breakfast time right? Not so much the case at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers, in Lower Manhattan. At 10 A.M it is the beginning of the lunch time periods.

Due to overcrowding and the fiscal budget crisis students all around New York City are experiencing earlier lunch times, tighter classroom seating arrangements, less personalized instruction, and higher building student to teacher ratios.

According to the United Federation of Teachers’ survey  released on Thursday, September 22, 2011, New York City Public School classrooms are overcrowded. Classroom size is at its highest in 10 years. The survey notes that nearly 7,000 classrooms are over their contractual limits. The contractual limit for Kindergarten classroom is 25 students; for grades one to six the limit is 32; for middle schools it is 33; and for high schools it is 34.The overcrowding in New York City Public School is said to stem from attrition, budget cuts and increased enrollment.

All across the New York City district the education system is feeling the increase. Most notable are High Schools in Queens. About 2,600 classrooms are overcrowded, with more than 34 students in each room. Some schools have imposed class schedules based on shifts to deal with lack of teachers and limited classroom space.

The teachers at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers, use the method of shifting a handful of students into Advanced Placement classes, whether or not they wanted to take them, to deal with overcrowding classrooms.… <Read More>