Did News and Observer Do The Free/Reduced Lunch Math?

At the News and Observer there is an editorial titled, Wake schools are, growing separate and unequal. This Op-Ed was written by Chuck Liddy, a staff photojournalist for the N&O.

Some of you might hit the News and Observer’s paywall trying to access it, but here’s the paragraph where Liddy plants the ‘proof’ of  his Op Ed’s title; Emphasis added is mine:

As reported by The News & Observer’s Keung Hui and David Raynor, Wake is seeing more racial and economic imbalance, with some schools having huge percentages of students in the category of needing free and reduced-price lunches, something virtually all experts know is not good in terms of academic performance. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds do better if they are not isolated among themselves. And the board finds itself with suburban schools that are overwhelmingly white. That’s hardly what leaders had in mind with desegregated schools, which were supposed to expose students to a school “society” that was much like the one in which they’d live and work.

Did you catch that small distinction in language – “category of needing“? Is it needing or just overall expansion of the program?

Folks, the income threshold for Free and Reduced lunches (FRL) has risen for 6 years straight, which has brought more families into eligibility range. I mentioned this in an earlier blog post this week.

For example, from the 2009-10 school year up until the current school year, a family with one child for the Free lunch category has had their income threshold for FRL eligibility raised by $1,222 dollars. $130 of that $1,222 is just since last school year (2014-15).

Reduced price lunch category jumped $185 dollars from last year. The overall increase in eligibility threshold for the reduced price lunch for a family with one child since 2009-10 is $1,739.

The question needs to be asked, are more families taking advantage of the FRL program simply because they now qualify for it?  Is that really showing a diversity issue? Correlation does not equal causation.

That's racistThe unspoken creepiness here is that families are being tracked by their incomes by means of what programs their children are signed up for.

By the same creepy token, if your neighborhood is ‘too white’ as so deemed by the Wake School board, diversity must be thrust upon your district?

Liddy also doesn’t even mention homeschooling or the increased number of charter schools as factors in the changing demographic and socioeconomic landscape. For that matter, the Wake School board doesn’t really seem to be considering why parents are heading for exits. Hint: it’s not because of diversity.

What Liddy does get right is the number of failed ways Wake county school board has had in increasing ‘diversity’, including the wildly unpopular busing scheme.

Related Reading

Wake Busing: A trip down memory lane

WCPSS Hires Single “Office Of Equity Affairs” Staff For $125k

5 GAO workers charged with fraud in obtaining school lunch subsidies

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips: APDillon@Protonmail.com
This entry was posted in A.P. Dillon (LL1885), EDUCATION, Media Bias, Wake County School Board. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Did News and Observer Do The Free/Reduced Lunch Math?

  1. Pingback: What They’re Saying About Education In NC (8/26/15) – #NCED | Lady Liberty 1885

  2. NCMom says:

    They are also tracking the volunteer hours going into each school.


  3. brackenkaren says:

    The goal of free lunch for poor children never had anything to do with feeding the poor. They use the poor to advance their progressive agenda then spread the feedings to all children, all year long and eventually it will include 3 meals per day. WHY? To change our children’s belief in their family as the caregiver. They want all future generations to look to the federal government for their basic needs destroying the child’s loyalty to the family and pledging loyalty only to the government. Pretty soon parents will find they willingly became nothing more than breeders for the federal government and eventually the federal government will also determine who can breed and who cannot. Why do you think they are collecting DNA on all new borns? Wake up. Communism is knocking at your back door and most will sadly answer the knocks.


  4. geek49203 says:

    Nothing you don’t already know, but let me repeat it:

    I did a job interview south of Raleigh, in one of the poor, rural near the sea coast school districts. I was shocked to see very new buildings, nice buildings, perhaps on par with Cary, in spite of the obvious poverty. I was told that these buildings were paid for by the Federal government. Why the largess? Because of the local poverty. And how did they measure poverty? You got it — the number of free and reduced lunches. Just one of the many ways that people are encouraged to stay on welfare by the very governments who say they’re working to get everyone out of poverty.


  5. Kathy says:

    In Wisconsin all students get 3 free meals a day year-round if they wish, but the parents get to collect the Food Stamps on their children’s behalf anyhow. No government program ever reduces in size. There is probably somewhere still a government program for Civil War veterans with somebody paid to be in charge, office space, and a budget.


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