In September of last year, NPR's Marketplace program reported a shocking story about a six-year-old girl who was denied lunch at a school in East Orange, New Jersey because her account was thought to be in arrears. When the child's parents showed up at the school a little later, they learned that their daughter had been sent to a special room to wait out the lunch hour while her classmates finished eating. The parents, who it turned out had paid their bill, were shocked to find that the room was full of kids who had not been fed even though many of them qualified for the reduced rate of 40 cents per meal. They said the school principal told them that she had spoken to parents on the first day of school and made clear that it was their responsibility to make sure their children were fed.*gasps!* Surely not?
This is all very well and it's understandable that school districts, many of which are facing mounting debt, would be upset about unpaid meal charges. But what is the point of ordering parents to pay up (and making their children suffer if they don't), when the reality is that many American parents have simply run out of money.Then why are they breeding? I've got four cats. I'd like forty-four. However, I can't afford that many.
Can I get the taxpayer to stump up for the cost of Royal Canin and low-dust cat litter? No? Then why should they stump up for the cost of feeding and clothing someone else's brat?
In 2012, the No Kid Hungry Campaign surveyed more than 1000 K-8 public school teachers across the country with sobering results (pdf). Three out of five teachers reported regularly seeing children in their classrooms who come to school hungry because they are not getting enough to eat at home. 56% of teachers said that "a lot" or "most" of their students rely on school meals as their primary source of nutrition and more than half of the teachers surveyed said they frequently purchase food out of their own money for hungry kids, spending on average $26 a month.What that tells Sadhbe is that 'we need to shovel more taxpayers money into welfare benefits'.
What it tells me is that the US government is paying teachers $26 too much...