January 9, 2008

Number of poor kids rising fast? Maybe not.

Looking solely at the numbers, it appeared that the number of schoolchildren in Bristol who receive free or reduced price lunches had gone up by 1.5 percent just since Oct. 1.
That would be "pretty frightening" and "staggering," said Tom O'Brien, a school board member who has a better grip on statistics than most politicians.
Nearly every school saw the same trend, with only Edgewood nudging down slightly.
But it turns out, officials said, that the rise may show nothing more than some kids are kind of slow about returning the necessary paperwork. If they brought it in after Oct. 1, then they show up as newly poor, when all they really are is less than speedy when it comes to getting forms filled out and returned.
In any case, nearly one third of Bristol's students are eligible for cheap or free lunches now, a big rise over what it was a decade ago. And even more alarming is that the percentages are highest in the lowest grades, which likely means that the numbers are going to go up for a long time to come.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


BOE Watcher said...

Who is verifying the paper work? You may be surprised how many send in the paperwork that ARE NOT qualified to get free or reduced lunches!

Anonymous said...

why would you use the word "poor" how degrading to us "poor" you are a complete A**!

Anonymous said...

Poor isn't a perjorative, you anonymous jerk of 10:49 a.m. "Poor" is just the fact, an adjective, like "rich." You are the one who is attaching all sorts of emotions to the word, not Steve Collins.
Poverty is real and it is here in Bristol. Accept that and then do what you can to help instead of attacking the person who is bringing you the information.
It's not real swift to shoot the messenger, but you don't seem too bright.

Anonymous said...

enough with the politically correct terminology. Poor, short, retarded, negro, jew, blind, etc. They are all legitimate words. What is the reason we instead need to use "diasadvantaged", mentally challenged, african american, vision impared and all those phrases? enough is enough. No more entitlement, no more drawing so much attention to simple words. Please enough is enough

Steve Collins said...

Poor is a simple statement of fact. There's no judgment attached to it.