Pisses me off that I have to apply for free meals

I have three kids in public schools. I have no need for meal assistance. As a matter of fact I make about 5 times the maximum income to be disqualified for even reduced lunches for my kids yet every years I go through this for my kids.

I am required to apply for free and reduced lunches for my children and be disqualified because the school system gets gov’t subsidies for all kids who apply. What kind of crock is that?

I don’t think it is any of their business how many kids I have in public school and especially how much money I make especially since I know I make more than I need to be disqualified. Last year I refused to turn in the paperwork and they trhreatened to suspend my h igh school age son. So I begrudgeingly filled out the paperwork.

What kind of communist society do we live in?

Don’t fill it in. When they ask why just tell them that you don’t want or need it. Are they crazy or something? If your kids came home each day to have lunch with you would they still demand you fill in this form?

Schools are pretty notorious for asking questions they have no business knowing.

Recently, in Fairfax County near here, they were asking high school students graphic questions about their sex lives in a survey. I recall another survey elsewhere asking whether Mom or Dad keeps guns in the house.

There’s no legitimate reason schools need to be intruding on the privacy of families in this way.

Don’t fill it out. When they suspend your child, take legal action. Don’t do it if you don’t want to.

In the state of Oregon at least, if your child is suspended and then expelled the state is required to pay for private tutors. What a great way to get a private education!

Do I read this right? The school requires that you apply for subsidies, receives those subsidies, and then doesn’t pass them on to you because you don’t need them?

Your state (Dementia) should have an attorney general. He probably would be interested in your schools obvious fraudulant use of state programs.

You might want to notify the office of the At General.

Just a thought,

Sorry I am Hijacking.

The Public School System Administrators are full of Fascists. I have not quite 6 year old daughter, she was born October 20, 1997, and was trying to enroll her in 1st grade. She has been through Pre-School and Kindergarten at a Private School. Because her father and I are putting her in Public School, the Beauricrats have to put her in Kindergarten and evaluate her for 1st Grade. They won’t make an appointment and do the evaluation in the Summer, so she can go to 1st Grade when she starts school. No, they have to do the evaluation when school starts, so for the first couple of weeks she will be in an AM Kindergarten, and the rest of the time at Daycare. I don’t know how much 1st Grade she will miss. She is so ready for 1st Grade.
Anyway it pisses me off, I gave them all the documentation, I can’t wait til we have the “Meet and Greet” Thursday, where she will be with us, for that.

Yes, you are reading these right. They are appying for money and THEY get the money but I don’t qualify for the money so I don’t get it…by the way Dementia happens to lie in the great state of Texas and they would get evem MORE money if my children happened to be born south of the border.

It is wrong of them to threaten suspending your son, and you could even take them to court for that. However, if they do get money from the government for you filling out these forms, then the better off the school. Well, if the school becomes better, the better for your kids.

I don’t begrduge the school for getting money, I don’t like them intruding on my privacy. I don’t think it is any of their business asking question about kids I have that don’t attend their school and it is definitly NONE of their business how much money I make.

My kid is in a Texas school and we weren’t asked to apply for aid for which we wouldn’t qualify. That seems strange and unusual even for Texas.

They are violating the tenets of good research. I’d ask if the school system has an Institutional Review Board. This board should go over all proposed research (this includes surveys) to determine that they don’t violate Human Subjects protocols. Your participation ought to be voluntary, and the survey also ought to inform you that you can decline to answer any question you wish to.

I had to do a survey like this once, asking users of our campus child care centers what their income was. We were contempating creating a special subsidy, and needed an estimate of how many families would qualify. I knew this was intrusive, so I set it up using HUD guidelines and a grid that crosswalked number of family members and income ranges, and then labeled the boxes as “A”, “B”, “C”, etc. There was more than one A, B, and C, as I just wanted to know what ribbon they’d fall into. People were still asked to reveal something personal, but we researchers would never have to put a finger on exactly how much they made. PLUS it was entirely anonymous.

I still got some canky replies from people. Which I understood. I hope they understood I did the best I could to get the information inoffensively.

You know I think I am going to do some research and find out exactly WHATbasis they have for requiring this.

Instead of not filling out the form, maybe a middle road of disobedience would work. For any question that you feel the information is private, fill in “not applicable” or “decline to state.”


If everyone who applies for free lunch qualifies, the federal government thinks that someone was fudging the numbers. Or telling people what the limit was, and the individual people were fudging themselves.

To have things go quickly and efficiently, some people need to be not-qualified. That lets the federal governement know that everyone was just applying and didn’t know the cutoffs and some didn’t qualify. It’s a program designed to reduce fraud.

Well here “under your desk” happens to be in Missouri. We too put up with the fun and games that educators inflict on us, but they don’t appear to be breaking any law or trying to collect income information.

The worst thing I had so far was an 8th grade teacher who sent home a questioner and wanted me to tell her what I thought my child’s most embarrassing moment was. Yep, like I’m going to give you that kind of ammo to torture my child. I didn’t play that game with the teach. I answered, “Bubbadaughter was totally embarrassed one day when her teacher slipped on a pencil, fell on the floor, and farted”


This was discussed in 20/20 or some other such TV news magazine and they said it was very common and the reason was not only the meals themselves but that the school districts got some other subsidies from the feds based on those numbers.

I would say to the school: “You realize you are asking me to participate in defrauding the Federal Government? Do you realize what the penalties are? Are you asking me to lie on a form for the purpose of defrauding the Federal Government? Could you plase put that in writing?”

I don’t think they are trying any kind of fraud. On the other hand, I do see why you think the request is intrusive, and it’s not something just anyone needs to know about you and your kids. I definitely don’t like the idea of every front-line teacher handling this info.

BUT, to explain where I think they’re coming from–the school probably does get a significant amount of aid based on the number of students qualifying for free/ reduced price lunches. This aid does extend beyond just the cost of the lunches themselves. If I remember correctly, it may even tie into the criteria of “No Child Left Behind.” If filling out these forms were not required, a lot of parents would skip it, including some who do qualify. So, in those cases, the kids miss out on the benefit of the lunches AND the school does not receive funds to which it is entitled. The school is understandably concerned about that, because money is tight all over. And it really would not be appropriate for the teacher to only insist on getting the form back from the kids they thought might be poor. Think of how embarassing that would be for the kids!

I don’t know if the school is entitled to this information, but I do feel they have a legitimate interest based on how they are funded.

What would I suggest? That they collect this in some type of anonymous fashion - such as everyone mailing coded reply cards to a central contact. Having to put “my mom and dad make X$” a year and hand it back to a homeroom teacher seems very inappropriate.

Fight the system, but going in armed with some appreciation of their perspective may help you.

Same here. I’ve had kids in public school in the suburbs of Houston and Dallas. The schools send the forms home, but I’ve never been required to fill them out. I just write on them n/a and leave it at that.

I don’t think you have to fill them out mia, just put your family name, and return it incomplete, all you have to do is return the form.

My kids go to a private school. Every year we get a similar form to fill out, but it doesn’t ask my actual income- it’s set up in the type of grid CrankyAsAnOldMan described. As best as I can remember, it’s also anonymous. It clearly doesn’t only have to do with reduced price or free lunches, because my kid’s school doesn’t even serve lunch. The explanation I got was that there are certain forms of aid a school qualifies for based on the percentage of students eligible for free lunch. Not just aid that goes to the individual students, like reduced price or free lunches, but aid given to the school as a whole- maybe additional money for textbooks or computers, that sort of thing. As for why they insist on getting the form back from everyone- probably because otherwise some people who would qualify wouldn’t bother filling out the form otherwise , whether because they don’t know they’ll qualify or because they know their kids wouldn’t eat the lunch.And that might keep the school from getting not only the lunch subsidy for those kids ( which wouldn’t affect the school, as they are also not providing the lunch subsidy to those kids), but also from getting that other aid given to the school as a whole. Although I do think threatening suspension is going a bit far.