Lunch Forms Benefit School Funding

By Joelle Saadeh ’17

One of the largest federally funded education programs for schools helps students who are struggling academically; schools can only receive funds if the economic need is great. Title one funding is Part A of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

The economic need is based on the proportion of students who have free or reduced lunch. It is important to fill out lunch forms whether a student is eligible for free lunch or not. Everyone should apply so that the school has a better understanding of the economic need so it can help get extra support for the school. Funding provides additional teachers, support staff, new material along with new methods of teaching, smaller classes, and training for staff members.

“Title 1 funding means more money for trips, plays, and equipment,” said Ms. Suzane Thomas. “College AP fee waivers can even save families  hundreds of dollars.”

“People are not filling out their forms,” said Liana Zhu ’17. “They automatically feel the lunch is disgusting and therefore don’t feel the need to apply.”

Guardians can apply for school lunch for their child online at nyc.applyforlunch.com or on paper applications.

People can also fill out lunch form online.

  

Forms can be submitted any time of the year and can be given to the main office. According to the New York City Department of Education School Allocation Memorandum No.8, FY 15 in 2014 the free lunch poverty percent in Midwood is 41.7 percent. We don’t get the full Title 1 status since it does not account for a majority of the school. The county poverty percent must be at least 40 percent to participate  in the program but the cutoff is at 60 percent in order to be given the Title 1 status. The poverty count in Midwood is 1,602, and the school got $117,142 in Title 1 Entitlement in 2014. Certain financial guidelines are set to specify who gets reduced or free lunch and it differs for every state.

Financial assistance can help ensure that children from low income families meet academic standards and strive above and beyond. According to ed.gov in 2009 more than 58,000 public schools across the US use Title 1 funding.

“I don’t have to think about paying for programs and school activities,” said Maryam Malik ’17

According to teaching.about.com, Title 1 requirements includes many rules. Schools must state the need and how the funds are to be used. The schools must plan teaching strategies and construct professional development. Parental involvement is also part of the requirement. Schools must help identify struggling students and help them to meet the standards and this should result in overall improvement in the school’s performance.

Zhu explained that students become less concerned about the financial aspect of schooling but focus on the academic portion. The school needs a more accurate understanding of where help is needed so students can reach their full potential. Also students feel more welcome when they don’t have to worry about the money.

Ms.Thomas explained that many parents don’t feel the need to fill out forms, so they just don’t do it.

Some schools use Community Eligibility which provides free breakfast and lunch to all students if there is high poverty rate in the community.  According to  http://www.fns.usda.gov, it becomes less of a burden to rely on tested programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to provide such information. Collecting forms can be hard and confusing.

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