Dec 15, 2008
California state officials say they don’t have enough money to fund the school lunch program through the end of the school year. Jack O’Connell, California’s top public education official, said the gap in funding was because of an “unexpected jump” in the number of eligible students. More than half of California’s public school students are now enrolled in free and reduced-price school meals because of their families’ poverty status.
An “unexpected” jump?? Nonsense! Who hasn’t been aware that we are in the middle of a severe economic crisis, with companies laying off workers right and left? No, the increased demand for low-cost school lunches is certainly not unexpected. In fact, by last May, enrollment in school lunch programs had increased substantially.
Nor is it true that a big and rich state like California can’t raise enough money to provide essential services to its population, especially considering how much the state government gives away in fat subsidies and tax breaks to big business.
It’s just that the politicians have been trying to make the working class pay for the crisis by cutting much-needed services – starting with the school lunch program. O’Connell said that there may be reductions in cafeteria staffing in the coming year.
More layoffs – which can only increase the demand for free and reduced-price school lunches!