Did you wonder why schools were doing it, though?
I mean, it’s a miserable job to do if you don’t like feeding kids.
And lunch money is a scramble for quarters and singles on the way out the door.
And not everybody trusts online payment.
Districts then dutifully adopted new policies.
(MASC sent out a sample one.)
Guess how easy it is for the average adult to dodge calls from school on lunch debt?
Now lots aren’t.
And that’s where policy meets budget. We adopted the policies, and now we are seeing budgetary impacts.
Now the other option, of course, is just for districts to eat the debt (no pun intended).
But that is going to take local district resources and is going to be competing with the other parts of the budget.
If you aren’t a universal free lunch district, there is a good chance this is happening in your district.
You may not have heard about it yet (lots of school nutrition and business offices are quietly sweating it out right now).
That means actually allocating public funds for feeding kids. And some of them are going to have to be local, as things are currently run.
So don’t feel good about ending lunch shaming if you haven’t considered how we’re going to pay for the lunches kids are eating.