Percentage of Poor Students in Public Schools Rises

Motoko Rich, New York Times, January 16, 2015

Just over half of all students attending public schools in the United States are now eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, according to a new analysis of federal data.

In a report released Friday by the Southern Education Foundation, researchers found that 51 percent of children in public schools qualified for the lunches in 2013, which means that most of them come from low-income families. By comparison, 38 percent of public school students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunches in 2000.

According to the report, which analyzed data from the National Center for Education Statistics, a majority of students in 21 states are poor. Close to two-thirds of those states are in the South, which has long had a high concentration of poor students. In Mississippi, for example, close to three-fourths of all public school students come from low-income families.

But the West also has a large and growing proportion of low-income students. Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada have high rates of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.

Children who are eligible for such lunches do not necessarily live in poverty. Subsidized lunches are available to children from families that earn up to $43,568, for a family of four, which is about 185 percent of the federal poverty level.

The number of children eligible for subsidized lunches has probably increased in part because the federal Agriculture Department now allows schools with a majority of low-income students to offer free lunches to all students, regardless of whether they qualify on an individual basis or not.

Still, it is clear that public schools are educating higher numbers of low-income children, and the trend has been going on for much longer than the period that started with the most recent recession.


An increasing number of school districts now also serve dinner to students. In Cleveland, where the vast majority of the school district’s 39,000 students are poor, Eric Gordon, chief executive of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, said that most schools there have regular programs to send food home with students and that the district has staff members who help homeless families find places to stay.


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  • MekongDelta69

    Once again, The New York Slimes states the obvious, but doesn’t state why.

    Two hints Motoko: black and brown.

    • SentryattheGate

      Yes, and what are the birthrates of these poor (blacks and browns mostly)? Probably higher then the US average.

      • John Ambrose

        which of course are subsidized by (mostly white) taxpayers

    • WilmotRobertson

      Leftists are extreme consequentialists. They will obfuscate reality to serve their ends. This is in line with their constant harping on wealth disparity. They are doing the same with the recent cases where the officers were warranted in their actions. However, the goal for the left is lowering black crime stats no matter the means. I suspect that is why they go after cases like the michael brown hullabaloo, and the guy in new york who resisted arrest, so they can terrorize police officers into not pursuing crimes with a black perpetrator thus artificially lowering black crime stats in certain areas of crime statistics since they can’t cook the books as easily as they are accustomed to doing. I don’t think it is beyond the left to concoct such a scheme given their historical sliminess. I’m sure they will attempt to keep identifiers such as race out of crime stats, if they haven’t already, at some point in the near future.They have been successful to some extent with the lumping of hispanic crime stats in part within white stats from what I understand.

  • This whole story is based on the sudden surprising jump in participation in the school lunch program free and reduced priced.

    Lots and lots of red flags.

    It could mean that eligibility rules for the school lunch program have been made more generous, or they’re being ignored, here in the Era of Hope and Change, just to be able to sign more students up, to hedge politically against “budget cuts” (i.e. reductions in the spending increases) of the school lunch program.

    This suggests participation rates in the school lunch program are not a good proxy for actual poverty:

    One more thing: The evidence and statistical regression coefficients might belie me, but I’ve always been bothered by the use of involvement in the school lunch program as a proxy for academic deficiency.

    • phorning

      A big part of it is that the eligibility rules have been changed. $43,568 is going to go a lot farther in certain parts of the country than in others.

  • LHathaway

    The entire city of Cleveland only has 39,000 students in school? On top of that, they may keep ‘phantom’ students on the rolls who are not even attending. They are funded by-the-student.

    • TomIron361

      Municipalities will go so far as to pass laws mandating that one live inside the region in order to work or do business with them. Municipalities with an over population of Whites, also are sure to have hiring guidelines
      These hiring and contract ordinances have been on municipalities books for years now. Any smart businessman can outfox a politician any day of the week. They always get around those dumb quota laws. Nobody allows their business to be hurt by laws. Just look at what all these corporations have done very successfully to get around o’bama care.

  • Luca

    Fifty years of the Great Society, trillions of dollars down the well and we are worse off now then we were in 1965. So Democrats want to do more of the same thing (tax ans spend) and expect different results.

    • Magister Luddite

      I don’t believe they don’t want different results at all. The plan is working perfectly. The more folks on the dole, the better.

    • Alucard_the_last

      Same thing with places like Venezuela. Socialism cannot work yet the stupid keep trying over and over again, hoping for better results. China didn’t become the world’s number one economy because of socialism/communism.

    • SentryattheGate

      Yes, and 1965 was the year of the passage of the Immigration Act; which brought in a LOT more poor people, from the Thurd World.

  • John Webb

    Saw the poor Haitian students getting a free lunch in high school every day down in Florida. Dr. Dre headphones. The iPhone 6. Brand new Air Jordan sneakers every day. Ralph Lauren polo shirts and pants. Flashing wads of $100 bills. What is wrong with this picture?

    • Magister Luddite

      Haitian students for starters.

    • Luca

      I heard on the radio that in L.A. school district they want to serve the anchor baby students, breakfast, lunch AND dinner.

    • Ella

      These Hispanic Moms stroll the most expensive strollers (Quinn; Bobs; Peg Perego), have I-phones and then, flash wads of cash at the register. Free food can save a family up to 5-10K K p/y.

  • Reynardine

    “Children who are eligible for such lunches do not necessarily live in poverty.”


    *Except taxpayers. God I really don’t want to pay taxes this year.

    • SentryattheGate

      AND, free breakfasts and lunches during the summer, plus backpacks with food for the weekends! These kids will grow up depending (and maybe loving) the gubmint that robs the rest of us (taxpayers).

      • Irishgirl

        What is left unspoken in these programs is that the goal here really is to take the kids out of their “families” as much as possible because being raised by a crack whore and her string of boyfriends has to be worse than being raised by the government. I think, sadly, this is true.

        • GeneticsareDestiny

          Yes, this is simply a covert attempt by liberals to remove minority children from their families for as much of the day as they can. It’s like what the previous generation of liberals did with the Amerindian boarding schools, except that’s considered racist now, so the government still sends the kids home to sleep.

          Liberals believe that if they can just get minority kids out of the hands of their parents for as much time as possible, the kids will acculturate to the broader American values of hard work, staying away from drugs, being employed, etc. It doesn’t actually work though, because the kids still have their parents’ genetics and that is more important than nebulous environmental effects like free school lunches.

          Though most liberals would die before they’d admit it, they despise the way minorities (especially blacks) raise their children. Blacks like to feed their kids fast food all the time, do drugs around them, hit them when they’re misbehaving, let them skip school, etc. It’s completely contrary to the way white liberals believe children should be raised.

  • Lkoehn

    The reason for this very simple. Public education has been dumbed down so much to put diplomas in the hands of minorities that it is worthless. Families that can afford it are going to put their children in an environment that is not dangerous and not constantly disrupted by these same minorities who think that being educated detracts from their ethnic identity. Schools that graduate students that can only communicate in EBONICS are a failure in all that they do except maybe their sports program and Spanish only is just as bad.

    • geofly

      and grandpa reveals himself to be a southern racist redneck mental midget too!

      • Lkoehn

        The echoing cry of the loon again haunts us with it’s emptiness. You really should confine your comments to Mother Jones as it is a nesting site for loons.

  • Alucard_the_last

    I find this very hard to believe. I’ve lived all over this country and I don’t see anyone who is hungry esp. school students. When I was in high school, there was one obese girl. My school had 3000 students. Now when I go by any school, I see dozens of obese children most of whom are Hispanic and black. Maybe if their parents (note that I didn’t say husband and wife) were denied benefits for every single litter they have, they would think about using a condom. Currently they are rewarded for bad behavior.

    • Quido

      When I was in school lunch was a stale chunk of Italian bread with a little olive oil.

      • Ella

        I remember the poor man’s sandwich. I loved them: fresh tomato slices, slice of cheese, olive oil-seasonings and bread! They are healthier than any lunch program to this day!

    • SentryattheGate

      And these fat black and Hispanic kids will very likely become diabetic, who will cost US a lot!

    • Irishgirl

      I grew up in a relatively poor family but my parents made sure we kids always had enough to eat. Not extra, but enough. They were – gasp – responsible!

  • Jim Kental

    Many parts of the NYC region had very poor sections that were almost all white and Asian, yet their grades and standardized test scores were super high. Go figure.

    • Alexandra1973

      My sister and I had reduced-price lunches but I was in honors/accelerated classes. I took an SAT in seventh grade and while I don’t know the score, Mom said it was pretty high–and I took it while I was sick.

      • Sid Ishus

        I have no issue with paying taxes to help my own through responsible programs.

  • Reynardine

    Serving dinner too? Why don’t we just outright take them from their parents at this point and just be honest about our Wards of the State. Let’s remove the ‘School to Prison’ highway completely, and just replace it with a life-to-death prison.

    • SentryattheGate

      I’ve heard that IS the plan, in increments; starting with lowering the age to start (age 3), year-round school, and free college. When I worked at a state developmental research school (has to reflect the demographics of the state), those ideas were brought up to parents. The minority parents were in favor; they wanted the “free” daycare (and free food) that it would provide. The white parents were opposed.

      • LHathaway

        Headstart to retirement: affirmative action till death.

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      We should at least stop giving the parents food stamps to cover meals their kids are already getting for free at school. If the kids are going to be fed breakfast, lunch, and dinner for free five days a week we should only be providing enough food stamps for meals on weekends (and nothing for the parent, only enough for the child).

  • dd121

    Whites pay more taxes. Democrats buy more votes.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    The School Lunch program is used to determine the eligibility of schools for disbursement of Title 1 funds — $14 billion was dedicated to Title 1 Grants in 2014.

    That’s why schools are desperate to enroll all of their kids into the free school lunch program – one of my colleagues told me her school had a contest for sign-ups for free lunch, the winning room got a party. Tremendous pressure is put on school personnel to sign up every kid possible. AFAIK, none of the information is ever checked.

    The purpose to Title 1 is to provide compensatory education to “disadvantaged and culturally deprived minority children in order to close the achievement gap”

    Results after 35 years?

    After more than thirty-five years of experience and numerous careful efforts to evaluate its performance, the evidence has failed to demonstrate that Title I programs have been systematically and significantly contributing to reducing disparities in achievement by improving the performance of its beneficiaries.

    Think the $$ is misspent?

    Federal audit finds city schools misspent stimulus, Title I Funds

    “State Republican leaders express outrage over city school spending on chicken dinners, cruises at Inner Harbor”

    There you have it.

    Anyone here Surprised?

    I see what passes for free school lunch every day – whatever it is, it in no way resembles food.

    Most of it goes in the trash, especially containers of unopened, non-fat white milk.

    • IstvanIN


  • IstvanIN

    Now that we are feeding hundreds of thousands of Central American “children” (or at least the one’s under 40) I am not surprised.

  • WR_the_realist

    If you ever had any doubts that the bottom half of the gene pool is doing most of the breeding, this fact should end them. Dysgenics continues unchecked.

  • realgone222

    What I find amazing is that the stigma of Free/Reduced lunch is gone. Now with these EBT/DEBT like cards they give all of the kids to swipe, it removes any stigma or understanding on the part of the child they don’t actually have money for lunch.
    In my day we had Blue poker chips that were doled out to the kids, everyone knew who was getting free lunch and it was embarrassing! At a young age you are painfully aware of these embarrassments and you tell your mother immediately to make you a simple ham sandwich no more blue chips. Later in life you vow never to put your child in that situation and you work your ass off. We are eliminating the social stigma and making these handouts OK, and the hard working people shrug their shoulders and carry on.

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      At my school each kid had a pin number they’d type in at the counter once they’d gotten their lunch. The kids whose parents had to pay for lunch had the money deducted from their account, and the ones who got free lunch simply got to go on their way. It was impossible for another kid to tell which kids were getting lunch for free and which ones weren’t. That’s why there’s no stigma anymore.

      • Alexandra1973

        I don’t think there ever really was a stigma. I grew up in the Detroit area and my sister and I got reduced-price lunches–forty cents a day. Mom worked at a minimum-wage job (and yes she’s college-educated) and Dad was disabled. I don’t recall us being made fun of for it.

        And in high school, we had lunch cards…you paid a week at a time, and you had a card that was punched every day.

        My son gets free breakfast and lunch. I’d rather provide both for him myself, because I prefer to give him healthy stuff…but with our situation, that’s a bit hard to do. I make sure he has healthy stuff for dinner, though. I buy stuff on sale and stock up whenever possible. I eat maybe twice a day if that.

        If I could find a work-at-home job, or maybe something in Medina, since I have friends out that way…if they’re willing to babysit…problem is my son goes to school in another district and takes the bus. I’d hate to move again…but if it’s what I have to do to be able to have a job and get off the government teat, that may be what I wind up doing. Hardly anything available in this area.

    • newscomments70

      When I went to elementry school, the welfare kids were given one of those old computer punch cards. They would have to pick them up at the office every day and hand them to the lunch lady. We only had one welfare child. She was a little girl, not very pretty. Her mother had died and her father abandoned her. She was taken care of by an elderly relative and a dysfunctional uncle. I don’t recall anyone ridiculing her, but she was humiliated by this punch card. She knew what it symbolized. She had some kind of fire in her though. To “pay her way”, she volunteered in the kitchen and washed dishes. She actually ran that part of the kitchen; she methodically washed trays and dishes in the automatic machines like a work horse. She was not required to do this; she only volunteered out of decency. The staff liked her and enjoyed her company. Some other children thought this looked “fun” and joined in. I can only imagine how strange this would look to the children of today.

  • Ella

    Why do we the tax payer PAY for SNAP since “most schools there have regular programs to send food home with students.” So the govt knows expects low income people to be so incompetent and stupid that one cannot prepare a meal but have 3 kids to support?

    • GeneticsareDestiny

      I wish we weren’t paying for food stamps either, at least for meals the kids are already getting at school. But even though food stamps are often marketed as being “for the children,” they’re really for the parent (usually the mother). She only has to provide meals on the weekends now, but she still gets food stamps allocated for the meals she should be providing during the week.

      Since she doesn’t actually have to feed her kids during the week anymore, she can use the extra food stamps for herself (either on food, or she can sell them on the street for 50 cents on the dollar and use the money for anything she wants).

      Liberals know that this is happening and they don’t care. It’s “racist” to not want to be doubly or triply paying for each meal a poor kid eats.

      • Bill Moore

        Hello GeneticsareDestiny,

        I was in Walmart, and an older gentleman came by pushing a cart full of items that had been returned. We struck up a conversation.

        He told me about how EBT (electronic benefits cards) cards were being turned into cash cards. The holder of an EBT card fills a cart full of merchandise that qualifies for the EBT card, purchases it with their EBT card, then goes to the returns desk and returns it. The return desk gives the customer cash back.

        Simple as that, no “50 cents on the dollar” thingy.

        Thank you for letting me rant,
        Bill Moore

        • GeneticsareDestiny

          Ah, I hadn’t heard of this method! I suppose the EBT sellers were sick of only getting half the dollar value of their food stamps and had to find another way to exchange them into cash. Thanks for letting me know.

        • Alexandra1973

          I would think that there would be a policy that your card is credited. They do that with credit cards…if you buy something with a credit card, and return it, your card is credited.

          • Bill Moore

            Hello Alexandra1973,

            That was my thought, as well. Seems that the EBT card should be credited.

            And when I asked about it, the folks at the Walmart in Butler PA told me that they have no way to credit their EBT card.

            As a side issue to this, when items such as meat and milk are returned, they are not returned to the shelves, and go into the dumpster.

            This whole thing should be looked into, but I don’t want to make it my life’s work.

            Thank you,
            Bill Moore

          • When I was single, I used to dumpster-dive for food. The meat behind Whole Foods was the best, and since the winters here are cold, I figured it was just as good as refrigeration temperature (below 40F). I never got sick. I made a lot of Reuben sandwiches with their expired corned beef.

            I also heated the house burning broken cargo pallets in the fireplace, and saved the nails by running a magnet through the fireplace ash. Unfortunately, I am out of those nails. I had to drill (undersized) pilot holes for those, as they had blunt tips. I liked them because they had a slight screw-thread to them, and used to lubricate them with wood glue. Nothing in which I used those pallet nails has ever come apart.

          • Bill Moore

            Hello Michael Christopher Scott,

            You seem to have led an interesting life.

            I grew up very poor. No electricity, no inside toilet facilities, no running water. We heated and cooked with a coal stove, carried water from a spring about a half a mile away, and used an outside toilet.

            We once tore down a house, and saved all of the lumber and nails. We straighten all of the nails,

            When the collapse of the USA happens, we will be the survivors. We’re used to hard times.

            Thank you for your comments,
            Bill Moore

          • I grew up in the rich part of Boulder, a very nice place, and went to prison after being cheated out of $625,000 by my ex-father, a university professor. I was willing to settle for $400,000, but I did a very stupid thing and threatened the critter. I kept my house through incarceration, though my housesitter basically looted it. The Dark Ages were alive and well after I returned home and chucked my housesitter out. I couldn’t afford much of anything. My probation officer was understanding, and let me slide on getting a job for nine months, and that was making sandwiches at Subway, rather than chemical engineering.

            Whenever there is anything I can possibly produce something instead of buying, I’ll make it. The crossbow stocks I made here look like they could have been manufactured at Enfield in 1890. Buttplates are brass and 1/4-inch thick, with real brass screws, and not zinc-plated steel. Lockplates, triggers, rotary nuts and bow-irons are also hand-made, and blued here.

            A fairly smart fellow can usually make a good product. That was how it was originally done.

          • Bill Moore

            Hello Michael Christopher Scott,

            Thank you for sharing that.

            It’s a disturbing story, but seems like you’ve come out of it OK.

            My best wishes go with you,
            Bill Moore

    • I can tell you why we pay taxes for that nonsense. If we don’t pay taxes, we are assessed interest and penalties. If we don’t pay those, the IRS sends us to federal prison for tax evasion. If we try to escape to go home, the guards shoot us.

      Boiled down (no pun intended), the equation thus simplifies: “Pay to fatten up people who will always hate you, or get shot.”

      Being tangled up in prison perimeter razor wire while being shot doesn’t seem like very much fun (the guard truck where I was locked up always had two guys, one with an M-16 and one with a 12-gauge, so I guess a would-be escapee would receive the “best” of both worlds). We saw squirrels and birds that had nicked themselves on that razor wire and bled out so fast they remained in place. Home for 11 years and off paper for 8, my own solution to the equation is refusing to work. Those government parasites can waste someone else’s time and labor posturing as “social justice” heroes.

      If this makes me sound angry, you don’t know the half of it. I try to never let it show anymore, but I wish some of the libtards could have had my dreams last night. In one of the more pleasant nightmares, I had a cast-iron frying pan instead of my tomahawk. It seemed to work pretty well. Maybe I should get another one at the ARC thrift store, machine down the rim so it looks like a really ugly ping-pong paddle, and then then sharpen the edges. I could cut serration notches into those, wrap the handle with leather cord and then harden the leather with linseed oil. It would need to be a one-piece skillet, as a riveted handle would be a weak point. One full of rust and burned-on grease that looked like a medieval Chinese torture implement would be perfect. Making the item might be therapeutic, but I think I’ll stick with producing fishing tackle (aren’t the prices of good flies and lures completely appalling?)

      Fattening those greedy thieves isn’t all your money does; it also props up corrupt governments all over the world. Nice, huh?

      • Ella

        I quit my job and stay home too so it’s one less tax-payer in the system. Where you get stuck in paying more is the Social Security payroll tax due to no exemptions or write-offs. Having more children can reduce the federal taxes and obviously goes to a better cause than corrupt federal spending.

  • paul marchand

    Free or reduced-priced lunches? That would be considered SUCCESS by the left. They have succeeded in running almost all whites out of the public schools in most urban schools and so many elsewhere. WHY? Because whites feel very uncomfortable (for good reason) in sending their sons and daughters to schools with large #s of black students.

    • LHathaway

      Don’t worry. They see nothing amiss. Their only concern is do double-down and ‘do more’.

  • bubo

    Poverty in America means flat screens, cell phones, taxpayer subsidized housing, car(s), expensive athletic shoes etc. Once the collapse happens we will have Indian style poverty. Shanties and eating from dumpsters.

  • The three of us eat as if we are poor, but I’m a good cook, so I cooked the rice last night in broth I had earlier made by boiling old chicken bones, that rice with the powders I make out of dried chives and the stems, seeds and cores from peppers, ground-up. When that 72-hour slow-cooker boil is done and the bones are fished out and later dry, they crumble to the touch and the powdered bone goes into the planter barrels as fertilizer. I suspect we get all the good out of those, both ways. I always freeze, save and boil bones or fish heads to later boil to make soup stock, sieve out the bones, and then run the broth through coffee filters. A gallon jar of frozen bones or fish heads goes into the three-gallon slow-cooker for three days.

    None of us looks like those little, brown beach balls we see everywhere. We’re what people are supposed to look like. Our teeth are also excellent: probably all that calcium. The dentist last told me Ariadne wouldn’t get a cavity unless someone used a jackhammer in her mouth.

    The US produces a grotesque surplus of food, wastes much of it, and then fattens our least productive residents – I will not call them “citizens”.

    When I was in high school (1981-1984), a lunch was $1.25, and I almost always got the soup and salad. I just liked it better.

    • Alexandra1973

      Making bone broth is really good, especially for the teeth. In fact I’ve heard it’s one thing that can be used to heal cavities (yes, they CAN be healed–if you have D3 and K2. D3 aids in calcium absorption, and K2 directs it to where it needs to go).

      You should give me some of your recipes. 🙂

      • Bill Moore

        Hello Alexandra1973,

        Yes, cavities can be healed.

        Twenty years ago, I was the center of attention at my dentist’s place when he noted that a cavity had healed itself. He showed it to me (with a little camera he uses), and then called in the entire group of people who work there to see it.

        He told me that it happens sometimes, but didn’t know why.

        Thank you,
        Bill Moore

  • SimplyFred

    The birth rate in the white race is well below replacement levels. (Because we pay exorbitant amounts of our wages in taxes and tuition). Every mexican female, legal or illegal living in the United States is guaranteed to squirt 7 illegitimate children on the sidewalk. Each and every bastard raised to adulthood on white taxpayers taxes.

  • The cause of poverty? Reckless procreation. Keep it in your pants! There, solved the problem. On a side note, has anyone caught Obama’s comment in his State of the Union speech? Arguing for raising the minimum wage, the president joked that if anyone can “raise a family on less than $15,000 a year, tell me how.” So, apparently, McDonalds should pay its employees enough money so they can raise a whole family flipping burgers, huh? The stupidity never ends.

    • Alexandra1973

      A wayward spouse doesn’t help matters either. I have only one child. 🙂

    • newscomments70

      If they choose sterilzation, they don’t even have to be abstinent. That is the more practical solution. “,So, apparently, McDonalds should pay its employees enough money so they can raise a whole family flipping burgers, ” Why not, let them have their minimum wage increase. When McDonalds starts charging $20 for a Big Mac, consisting of low quality meat by-products (dog food, basically), the their US “restaurants” will all go bankrupt.

  • ravitchn

    Students are not getting poorer. But only the relatively poor use the public schools since they are dangerous and teach nothing. This is the result of integration. Many modestly affluent choose private schools for their kids.

  • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

    I read an article on vdare that now the semites on France are now voting for Marie La Penn, when they used to be socialists in the 70s. Well they bring this on themselves with their liberal policies and then when the crap hits the fan they change their tune. The schools have a very high drop out rates because of integration of low IQ blacks and the lowering of standards.

  • Atheist Realist

    thats what most of the articles posted on the amren feed are – stories that you have to “read between the lines” to understand