In an earlier post, I raised the question of whether local school data on students needing food assistance confirmed a new federal study that poverty is increasing in the suburbs due to economic hard times. An astute reader pointed out that a good indication of increasing poverty in a given area is local school district data on the number of students receiving free and reduced price school meals.
It turns out that an increasing number of children around the state are seeking help to pay for school meals. According to the Contra Costa Times, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said that the state served 28 million more meals to public school students last year, a 4.5 percent increase from the 742 million the year before.
O’Connell warns that the increasing number of kids needing help could cause the funding for the program to run out before the end of the school year. He has asked Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature free and reduced price meals at school.To read more about the increasing statewide demands on the free and reduced priced school meal program, click here.
To read more from the Contra Costa Times story, click here.
And here are earlier posts on Crazy in Suburbia on this issue:
Does Local School Data on Students Receiving Free and Reduced Priced Lunches Show Growing Poverty Levels in the East Bay Suburbs?
New Federal Report: Poverty Spreading to the Suburbs