Schools Facing Cuts If Lunches Aren’t Paid For

Fernanda Santos, New York Times, February 8, 2011

Of the 2,200 students at Intermediate School 61 in Corona, Queens, 86 percent receive free cafeteria lunches. Some others pay a reduced price, and some are supposed to pay full price.

But not all of their parents pay what they are supposed to, and recently, the school’s principal, Joseph Lisa, has been spending a lot of time trying to collect money from them.

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In Louisiana, some districts did not feed the children whose parents were in arrears at all, until, in November, the State Legislature passed a law ordering that they be given at least a snack, while directing districts to notify child welfare authorities if a student got just a snack on more than three consecutive days. Framingham, Mass., hired a constable to hand-deliver notices to parents whose bills were still unpaid after the schools had sent them several letters alerting them to their debt.

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