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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Arne Duncan's Vision of Community Schools Realized? Dinner Now Served at Schools.

Parents don't have to figure out dinner menus. What a deal.

What are food stamps for?....one reader asks in this Ann Althouse blog Who Gets Free School Dinner in Madison Wisconsin:

Eligible schools for the dinner program must have at least 50 percent of students qualify as low-income. In Madison last year, 18 elementary schools, seven middle schools and East and La Follette High schools met that requirement.

To be eligible, students must take part in an academically focused after-school program, not an after-school sport. Memorial is looking into setting up a homework club for athletes between practice and the free meal so that they can participate in the free meal.

So, in this affluent city, we are nevertheless so poor, that the federal government is subsidizing free dinner at 18 elementary schools, 7 middle schools, and 2 of the 4 high schools. And it doesn't matter how much money your parents make, you get free dinner if you go to that school and do an after school activity... as long as your activity is not sports.

Yeah, that makes so much sense. What's with discriminating against the students who, after sitting at desks all day, choose a physically active after-school activity? Aren't they more in need of food? What's the connection between this policy and fighting obesity?
"This progressive city is way behind other cities in that regard," [Mayor Paul] Soglin said. "We should not look at this as a frill, or as an experiment, but something citywide."
This is not a frill. It's an imperative... within the progressive agenda... which seems to have to do with increasing dependency of government and inspiring the young to look to the authorities as their nurturing, nourishing mothers. 

If children are hungry, they need to be fed. It's hard to learn if your stomach is growling. We need to take that on. If students can't see the blackboard, need eyeglasses, we need to do that. If students need a social worker or counselor to work through the challenges they're facing at home in the community, we need to do that.

And so I -- my vision is that schools need to be community centers. Schools need to be open 12, 13, 14 hours a day six, seven days a week, 12 months out of the year, with a whole host of activities, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

And when schools truly become centers of the community, where you have extraordinary teachers, the best teachers, the best principals, great nonprofit partners coming in during the non-school hours to support and do enrichment activities, social services, then those students will beat the odds, will beat poverty, will beat violence in the community, will beat sometimes dysfunctional families, and be productive citizens long term. They will go to college.

The comments from Althouse readers shouldn't be missed.  Here's a comment explaining the issue with the government becoming a nanny and freeing parents from raising their own children (while placing the responsibility on taxpayers):

So let's do this:

for every free meal that a kid gets from school, subtract a proportionate amount from the food stamps.

if a parent is so incapable of parenting that they can't feed their kids at all -- not breakfast, not lunch (what's wrong with a PB & J?), not dinner -- let's assume they can't provide for any of their basic needs, and set up "public boarding schools" (but, again, no more welfare benefits for the kiddies).

What's next: subsidized clothing distribution?

Of course, the biggest issue is that plenty often, this is a money-maker for the schools, when the subsidies from the feds are substantial enough that they cover the full cost, and some. 

Is the role of government now to feed kids one, two, three meals a day?  What ARE parents responsible for today in raising their children?  In some areas of the country, the schools even feed students on the weekend.  This is from Washington state in response to articles on feeding students at school:

You mean food is not being sent home from school with kids for the weekend where you live?  It is where I live. The food isn't coming from the school food services.  It is coming from places that seem to be working with or in coordination with food banks---connected to  social services operation.  Food is packaged out and put in book bag sized backpacks and delivered to the schools for students to pick up on Friday afternoon.  That way the students have some food for the weekend.  I guess the social services operations thought of this before the schools did.  They are using the schools as their distribution point.  It is really quite a sophisticated operation.

1 comment:

  1. Just today I saw where a woman received plastic surgery,a stereo and paint job for her car thru food stamp fraud. It is a huge problem...people sell their food stamps at half of the value to others and take the money to do whatever...we can not afford to have so little oversight on this program while we are borowing from China and printing money...talk about redistribution of wealth!


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