Congress Education

House Republicans Consider Kicking Millions of Kids Off Free School Lunch

Written by SK Ashby

As one does on any given day in this Congress, Congressional Republicans will consider a proposal to bring back shame for poor kids.

Just because House Republicans were unwilling to affirm Speaker Ryan's disastrous budget does not mean they won't try to incrementally implement the worst parts of it.

The House Education and Workforce Committee will consider legislation that would force over 18,000 schools to tighten or maintain their current eligibility standards for free lunch.

From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

If this proposal becomes law, 7,022 schools now using community eligibility to simplify their meal programs and improve access for low-income students would have to reinstate applications and return to monitoring eligibility in the lunch line within two years. 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.

The community eligibility program prevents exceptionally poor students from being stigmatized by providing free lunch to all students in high poverty districts. If every student receives a free lunch, no one is singled out or shamed for receiving free lunch.

I'm sure they would say this is only about process or "waste," but in real terms they're talking about a process that leaves kids hungry. There's no waste in feeding kids.