Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 07-22-2019, 08:41 AM
doreen is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Woodhaven,Queens, NY
Posts: 6,456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
I've had some experience with the foster system where I live (New York City). Quite a bit, in fact.

You apparently have no idea how easy it is to take the children of poor people away from them. Without a court hearing. Yes, a court hearing is necessary to terminate parental rights, but short of that? A caseworker's word will do it.

It's not an empty threat. And it certainly wouldn't have felt like an empty threat to those targeted by that threat.
You're right that the threat wouldn't have felt empty to those targeted- but although you are correct that caseworkers in NYC can remove children without a court hearing, it's not true that there is no court involvement until a termination of parental rights. When children are removed without a court order, the child protective agency must file a petition in family court the next business day. I certainly won't say it's impossible for a NYC caseworker to remove a child over an unpaid lunch bill - but I have enough experience with the CPS system in NYC ( including working for it for eight years) to say it absolutely isn't policy and a judge is no more going to remove a child because the parent has an unpaid lunch bill that he or she would remove the child because the parent owes the supermarket money for a bounced check.

The only part of that threat that might not have been empty was that the school district may have actually planned to make reports to CPS about the unpaid lunch bills. Whether CPS would accept* those reports for investigation is another story.






* Yes, CPS must investigate reports of abuse or neglect - but typically, they only must accept and investigate reports that would constitute abuse or neglect if the allegations were true. So when a woman tries to report that her granddaughter's mother puts the kid's hair in braids rather that a more elaborate style ( true story) , CPS does not have to accept and investigate that report.
  #52  
Old 07-22-2019, 05:41 PM
Pleonast's Avatar
Pleonast is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Los 'Kamala'ngeles
Posts: 7,201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
A lot of school districts around here have opened up the income-based free-lunch program to all students, regardless of need. Why did they do that? Because it turns out that it's actually cheaper to do it that way. Most of the money going into the free-lunch program wasn't actually going towards food; it was going towards bureaucracy to determine who was allowed to get food. Cut the bureaucracy, and you can feed everyone for less than you were spending to feed a small fraction.

Which doesn't, of course, stop people from complaining about all that money "wasted" by giving it to everyone.
In my area, many schools provide free* breakfast and lunch to all students, because it's one of the easiest ways to improve the schools' test scores. It turns out children learn significantly better when they've eaten sufficient and nutritious food.

*Some schools ask parents to pay, but it's like the list of supplies students are supposed to bring to school. There's no penalty for not doing so.
  #53  
Old 07-23-2019, 01:05 PM
Snowboarder Bo's Avatar
Snowboarder Bo is online now
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 26,854
Quote:
Todd Carmichael, chief executive and co-founder of Philadelphia-based La Colombe Coffee, said he offered to give Wyoming Valley West School District $22,000 to wipe out bills that generated the recent warning letter to parents.
Quote:
In a letter sent to papers in the Wilkes-Barre area on Monday, Carmichael said his offer was motivated in part because he received free meals as a child growing up near Spokane, Washington.

“I know what it means to be hungry,” Carmichael wrote. “I know what it means to feel shame for not being able to afford food.”
Quote:
But school board President Joseph Mazur rejected the offer during a phone conversation Monday, Carmichael spokesman Aren Platt said Tuesday. Mazur argued that money is owed by parents who can afford to pay, Platt said.
Quote:
“The position of Mr. Carmichael is, irrespective of affluence, irrespective of need, he just wants to wipe away this debt,” Platt said, noting the offer stands.
https://apnews.com/d08cb7de39e849e08943def345d9a4ac

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 07-23-2019 at 01:06 PM.
  #54  
Old 07-24-2019, 11:39 AM
Mama Zappa is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12,319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
It's also possible that the powers that be encourage children to ring up ala carte items like extra cookies and ice cream on their account and then the parents are responsible. And while it's certainly on the parents to set boundaries for the kid's spending, I know the automatic system my son's school uses doesn't let me see an itemized list of his charges--so I don't know really know where the money is going. I didn't know he COULD buy ala carte items until he mentioned casually one day he'd had an extra cookie. We certainly didn't have that option in Kinder.
My kids could purchase extras on their lunch accounts (which I had to pre-fund). I think that if their money ran out, they would not have been able to get lunch; there may have been a "your parents forgot to pay" peanut butter sandwich or something on offer.

I'd calculate out x months of lunch at y bucks a day, and send in a check for x*y dollars. When my son said he was running low, just a month or so into a 2-month prepay period, I questioned him, and he admitted he'd been getting goodies as well as lunch. After that, when I paid, I put a notation on the check saying "lunches only", so he couldn't do that any more.

So, there's no way he could have gotten 450 bucks into hock to the school district.

The message from that school district is absurd on sooooo many levels.
- 1,000 families, 20,000 in arrears: that's 20 bucks a family.
- 4 of those families owe 450 apiece. 4 x 450 - 1800. So that means the other 996 families owe a total of 200 dollars between them.
- You contact a family by phone LONG before the arrears get over a hundred dollars. And you help them apply for free lunch if needed.
- No judge in the world would take kids away from a family for such an insane reason.
  #55  
Old 07-24-2019, 12:32 PM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 35,938
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama zappa View Post
my kids could purchase extras on their lunch accounts (which i had to pre-fund). I think that if their money ran out, they would not have been able to get lunch; there may have been a "your parents forgot to pay" peanut butter sandwich or something on offer.

I'd calculate out x months of lunch at y bucks a day, and send in a check for x*y dollars. When my son said he was running low, just a month or so into a 2-month prepay period, i questioned him, and he admitted he'd been getting goodies as well as lunch. After that, when i paid, i put a notation on the check saying "lunches only", so he couldn't do that any more.

So, there's no way he could have gotten 450 bucks into hock to the school district.

The message from that school district is absurd on sooooo many levels.
- 1,000 families, 20,000 in arrears: That's 20 bucks a family.
- 4 of those families owe 450 apiece. 4 x 450 - 1800. So that means the other 996 families owe a total of 200 dollars between them.
- you contact a family by phone long before the arrears get over a hundred dollars. And you help them apply for free lunch if needed.
- no judge in the world would take kids away from a family for such an insane reason.
$20,000 - $1,800 = not $200
__________________
*I'm experimenting with E, em, and es and emself as pronouns that do not indicate any specific gender nor exclude any specific gender.
  #56  
Old 07-24-2019, 04:57 PM
Omar Little's Avatar
Omar Little is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Within
Posts: 13,017
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
According to one of the stories I read about this, Several schools on that area have such a high percentage of families below the poverty level that they qualify for a program that gives free lunches to everyone without without asking for income information. Thatís the kind of area that this school district is in and yet they pull this stunt threatening poor kidsí families for what reason?
No, my understanding is that the school in question does not have a "free lunch for all" program, but a traditional free lunch for qualified families program. It is some of the families in the district that aren't "poor enough" for the program, that feel like the school should have a "free for all" program, so they aren't paying for their kids lunches, like all of the families in the neighboring districts with "free for all".

The families that were threatened, were not the poor, but those that weren't poor enough.
  #57  
Old 07-25-2019, 03:22 PM
Snowboarder Bo's Avatar
Snowboarder Bo is online now
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 26,854
The WVW School Board has apologized for the letter and will accept Mr. Carmichael's donation as payment for all outstanding lunch debts.

Way to go Wyoming Valley West (Pa.) School District!

Todd Carmichael, you totally fucking rock!

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 07-25-2019 at 03:24 PM.
  #58  
Old 07-25-2019, 03:56 PM
Mama Zappa is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12,319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
$20,000 - $1,800 = not $200
Well duh.

I was a math major, can't ya tell!!

So corrected math: 996 families owe a total of 18,200 between them. That's less than 20 dollars per family.

Now, there have been plenty of times where I'd have paid the authorities a LOT more than that if they'd remove my kids but beyond absurd to provoke this kind of mis-action from the school district.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:54 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017