September 15, 2012

Who gets free school dinner in Madison, Wisconsin?

"Unlike the lunch program, eligibility for a free dinner is based on whether the school qualifies for the program based on school poverty rates, rather than the income level of an individual student. So any student participating in an eligible after-school program can eat the dinner meal for free."
Eligible schools for the dinner program must have at least 50 percent of students qualify as low-income. In Madison last year, 18 elementary schools, seven middle schools and East and La Follette High schools met that requirement.

To be eligible, students must take part in an academically focused after-school program, not an after-school sport. Memorial is looking into setting up a homework club for athletes between practice and the free meal so that they can participate in the free meal.

So, in this affluent city, we are nevertheless so poor, that the federal government is subsidizing free dinner at 18 elementary schools, 7 middle schools, and 2 of the 4 high schools. And it doesn't matter how much money your parents make, you get free dinner if you go to that school and do an after school activity... as long as your activity is not sports.

Yeah, that makes so much sense. What's with discriminating against the students who, after sitting at desks all day, choose a physically active after-school activity? Aren't they more in need of food? What's the connection between this policy and fighting obesity?
"This progressive city is way behind other cities in that regard," [Mayor Paul] Soglin said. "We should not look at this as a frill, or as an experiment, but something citywide."
This is not a frill. It's an imperative... within the progressive agenda... which seems to have to do with increasing dependency of government and inspiring the young to look to the authorities as their nurturing, nourishing mothers.

77 comments:

maudgonne said...

Kids can get up to three free squares a day at school now.

What are food stamps buying?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Paul Soglin is mayor Madison and Jerry Brown is Governor of California.

I want to turn off this time machine.

Jane said...

So let's do this:

for every free meal that a kid gets from school, subtract a proportionate amount from the food stamps.

if a parent is so incapable of parenting that they can't feed their kids at all -- not breakfast, not lunch (what's wrong with a PB & J?), not dinner -- let's assume they can't provide for any of their basic needs, and set up "public boarding schools" (but, again, no more welfare benefits for the kiddies).

What's next: subsidized clothing distribution?

Of course, the biggest issue is that plenty often, this is a money-maker for the schools, when the subsidies from the feds are substantial enough that they cover the full cost, and some.

Brennan said...

If parents are the most important indicator of success for students, why would progressives want to take away one of the best forms of education available in the home - preparing food, eating food, and sharing about your day over food?

I'll have to ask Mom and Dad what they would think if I skipped the family meal for homework and hamburgers at school.

damikesc said...

Brennan, because they don't think anybody besides them knows what the hell to do.

Hari said...

This is abut a parents' right to choose not to feed their children.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

My wife is a lunch lady at the local high school. The percentage of kids getting free lunch is far higher there than the national average, reported to be 40% of all school children. These kids have fashionable clothes and the latest smart phones. Some have their own cars. Eligibility is based on the level of income the parents claim to have. Virtually no verification is made of these claims of income, only a few spot checks during the school year. If a fraudulent claim is discovered, there is no penalty other than withdrawal from the program. No one would argue against a program for kids who are truly in need. Clearly this is not how the federal program is run.

Now, on top of this criminal mismanagement of federal funds comes a raft of draconian federal regulations concerning what the school may and may not serve. Basically, the rules are, if it tastes good it is banned or severely restricted.

These are the implicit messages here-- you are incapable of deciding what your kids eat, and you will be beholding to the government for feeding them, so keep voting for more goodies. This is the definition of a moral hazard.

Charles Chambers said...

I'd prefer not to stigmatize individual children as poor. Students who can eat better food at home will probably do so.

kimsch said...

The obesity epidemic started about the time the government decided it had to feed our children instead of kids either going home for lunch to bringing their lunch to school. Then the government started feeding our children breakfast. Now dinner. Coincidence?

In the summer, my son got free breakfast four days a week for a month because he was participating in the summer band program and went to the middle school every Monday thru Thursday morning in the month of June. There was no qualification for the free breakfast. Parents could get breakfast too, at a cost of about $2. Kids in summer school (which lasted about 6 weeks) were offered breakfast and lunch free. And I think the program continued through the rest of the summer too. All you had to do was show up.

Skipper said...

Do parents no longer have any responsibilities for their children? The state feeds, "educates", entertains, doctors and babysits. What's left?

campy said...

Thank you President Obama for keeping our children safe and well nourished.

Dante said...

Well, you send the women off to work and someone has to take care of the kids.

You set up a matriarchy in the Black community with AFDC and the "Man in the House rule," and you have to spread the meme that marriage isn't that important an institution.

You remove the social stigma from sex outside of marriage, the shotgun wedding, and you get a lot of babies out of wedlock.

Someone has to pay for the babies. Someone has to raise them. With this system, it seems pretty natural that "It takes a government."

Ann Althouse said...

"I'd prefer not to stigmatize individual children as poor."

It's done at lunch.

Is it obvious who's paying for their own food and who isn't?

I don't know how payments are done at school these days, but you could have cards that students with money pay for and other students get free.

Dante said...

"I'd prefer not to stigmatize individual children as poor."

That's odd. When I was bussed to an inner city nearly all black school (having only 2 whites in a class of thirty, and 4 whites in a school of hundreds), I always felt disadvantaged (first because I was small and not black) but also because I couldn't get the hot lunches.

As I was reading this I recall a good feeling about my sixth grade teacher, that she allowed me to sign up for the hot lunches (even encouraged me to). She was black. Hah, I remember telling the class "Don't let anyone push you around. You have nails, you can scratch. You have teeth, you can bite."

EDH said...

Reminds me of the fights over who's able to glom on to band catering.

Sapphire: Can you believe these new girls? None of them use birth control and they eat all the steak!

Christy said...

What's next: subsidized clothing distribution?

Sister teaches at a (formerly) failing public school that has been revamped by fresh ideas and new approaches. Kids must wear a uniform of color coded polo shirts and belted pants. Shirts are offered for $4 at the start of the school year. Sounds subsidized.

They feed kids breakfast and lunch. Except for athletic programs, kids must be gone by 5.
The schoool has after hour classes for kids that have been kicked out of regular classes but who still must be educated - with an armed security officer in each room.

Local churches take turns feeding the football players Friday nights before the games.

ALH said...

It is becoming the norm that parents expect and eventually rely on schools to nourish their kids and provide some sort of cheap / free after school care. What is left for parents to do? Get em put to bed and start over in the morning. The long term effect is dependency on others and a weaker family.

Your kids can get a cheaper and more balanced meal at home, it just takes a minimum effort and some planning ahead. I understand their are those that truly can't do this but many of the "poor" people whose kids go to my neighborhood school have nicer cars, nicer cell phones and more expensive clothes than people who are not "poor". Fact.

kentuckyliz said...

There's portion control now, too. A lady I work with has a middle school son who is a tanker of a boy and a football player to boot.

He buys THREE school lunches to get enough to eat.

He often buys extra food to give to other kids who had their one lunch but they're still hungry.

TANF includes clothing and school supply allowances.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

CATO published a study a few months ago about anti-poverty programs. There are now 126 federal anti-poverty programs in existence. We've spent over $12 trillion at the federal level, and another $3 trillion at the individual state level, on anti-poverty programs just since LBJ's Great Society. That $15 trillion has reduced the poverty rate from 19% to 15%.

And now we're fighting an obesity epidemic with a record number of people on food stamps. How can that make sense to anyone? Anybody who demands a more results oriented approach is demagogued as not sufficiently compassionate. Which just goes to show how we've been conditioned to expect our government to play a paternalistic role in providing for us. We are destroying ourselves from within by substituting government dependency for individual initiative in all aspects of our lives. It is maddening.

The opening two paragraph executive summary can be scanned quickly if you don't have the time or inclination to read the entire study:

http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/american-welfare-state-how-we-spend-nearly-$1-trillion-year-fighting-poverty-fail

madAsHell said...

What are food stamps buying?
tattoos
booze
cheetos

kcom said...

When my brother was unemployed his kids became eligible for free school lunches. When he got a job he informed the school that his situation had changed and that was no longer needed. They said it was too much trouble to remove his kids from the program (i.e. paperwork) so that he should just leave them on the program until the end of the school year.

PatCA said...

It's bread and circuses.

Obama increased the program from lunch to include breakfast and dinner and to add free food even during the summer, as kim describes.

He's building his dependent majority. Even if he loses, no one will have the guts to cut it until our economy complete implodes.

acm said...

Ann, kids getting free lunch aren't stigmatized at lunch anymore, at least not in my kids' school. Nobody pays cash in the lunch line anymore. Each child has an account, and money is added in by the parents, the state, or both. The little kids don't have any idea about who fills their own accounts, let alone anyone else's, and the older kids probably keep it to themselves. The kids in elementary school just say their first and last name (in my kids small school) and the lunch lady finds the proper account in the computer and deducts for what the child has gotten (standard lunch is one price and they have extras like cookies and juice that cost more) and the middle and high schoolers memorize account numbers. Other schools use a card system, where all the cards are identical. I suppose a kid who is getting free lunch can't get the extra cookies in schools that offer them, but neither can lots of kids whose parents just don't put extra money in the account. And in any event, I'm sure that our cookie ration will soon be increased from five per week to zero, in the interest of preventing child obesity.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Ann Althouse said...

Is it obvious who's paying for their own food and who isn't?

I don't know how payments are done at school these days




I don't know if this is a standard elsewhere, but where my wife works each kid has a number. The food service worker enters it into the cash register and the meal is paid for. Kids often give their number to friends resulting in further fraud.

Christy said...

Is it obvious who's paying for their own food and who isn't? Here every kid gets a code they punch in as they check out and it is either part of the free or reduced lunch or it comes out of the account parents have set up for kids.

Some local citizen provides free breakfast for all the kids at this particular school.

LilyBart said...


What do these geniuses think will happen to our country and to society when the money runs dry?



kentuckyliz said...

Oh and talk about learning to be a meek subject of the all powerful state:

Any kid can be random drug tested at any time.

So can the parents.

But they don't watch you pee, so you don't have to run out and get a Whizzinator.

NSFW but watch all the way to the end for a couple of surprises.

Erika said...

@ the professor, yes, it's all computerized now. Each kid who buys or "buys" lunch simply tells her name to the lunch lady who keys it into the computer. Some schools have swipe cards. Those of us who provide for our own children occasionally send in a check to replenish the account, but other than that there's no difference.

My kids' school--and this is in Texas, hardly some progressive utopia, which tells me it's pretty much universal now--provides breakfast to every child for free and with no regard to income. It is a continual annoyance to me that I get up early to make my kids eggs, oatmeal, whole wheat ricotta pancakes, whatever, so they have a rounded and nourishing start to the day which is MY RESPONSIBILITY, and I have to remind them daily not to eat the sugar bomb muffin or sausage wrapped in a pancake that someone plops onto their desk when they get to school.

I realize that there are plenty of parents who can't be bothered to use the food stamps or WIC that the rest of us give them to obtain food and then prepare it for their children in the morning, thus impacting those children's ability to perform in school and thus impacting the test scores of that particular school and district. At some point, though, can't we just say, "F-it and f-you and frankly sorry but f- your kids if you can't do the most basic parts of your job as a parent?" How far is the hand-holding going to go?

Also, in the summer, our district provides free breakfast and lunch to every enrolled student, no questions asked, and also for their parents at like $2 a head. As others have said--WTF are the "needy" using their food stamps for?!

Also, while I'm on my soapbox, I am sick to death of having our middle class income barely cover the basics and having no money for any extras while there are plenty of people of my acquaintance who live rent-free with relatives or courtesy of Section 8 and receive food stamps, Medicaid, SCHIP medical coverage, subsidized daycare, etc etc and seem to have plenty of money to blow. My health insurance premiums are $600 a month, plus copays and deductables, and we can only afford to go to the doctor when it's really needed, and then there's my friends who have new cars, shiny new iPads, send their kids to private school, and are constantly in and out of the doctor's office for acne medication and so on and on and on because they have so much disposable income because someone else is picking up the tab for the big stuff. I ran into someone at the grocery store and she was making fun of my cart full of lunch-making stuff for my four kids asking why I bother making them lunch when I can get it for free from school. Which I could if I would lie about our income, or have low income but low financial responsibilities, like so many do.

It's crazymaking, is what it is.

LilyBart said...


I was listening to Thomas Sowell speak the other day. I was interested to learn that he began his career as a far leftist - self-described 'marxist'. I had no idea.

When asked what changed his mind, he said it was working for government in the Labor Department. He was shocked to discover that the people there didn't really care about how their programs actually affected people - the true consequences. They didn't really care about what worked and what ending up huring real people in the long run.

kentuckyliz said...

Perverse incentive: there is student loan forgiveness for teachers who teach in high poverty schools. Often defined as free lunch program. There is an incentive to get a lot of kids on the program, so the teachers can shirk up to $17,500 of their student loans.

http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/charts/teacher

I am sure there are other bonuses to being a low income school but I can't think of them right now.

acm said...

@kentuckyliz, sure there are other benefits. If someone holds up your students' test scores and asks why your teaching hasn't improved them, you can blame poverty---"My students aren't able to concentrate because poverty!". If someone then says you maybe you'll have to do without a pay raise this year you can say "My job is harder than yours because poverty!". The poorer your students are, the harder you job is, and the harder your job is, the more courageous you are for attempting it, and the easier it is to say that those who criticize you are just hateful.

n.n said...

Progressive corruption. They are marginalizing the relationship between parents and their children, and sabotaging the first level of social organization (i.e. family), including relieving the parents of responsibility for the welfare of their children.

Along with shifting responsibility and accountability, there is a majority of the population reproducing in the minority. Women, and men, just want to have fund, and are electing to exchange their liberty for submission with benefits. As they embrace behaviors which constitute evolutionary dysfunction, they are also voluntarily committing generational suicide.

Perhaps these reformers are still concerned with overpopulation. However, if that was true, then they would be more concerned with unmeasured immigration.

No. They have ulterior motives, including sabotaging character development and destroying the first level of social organization, which would break the traditional and natural bonds of cooperation that follow from familial relationships.

Titus said...

I am curious to the menu of these free meals.

My parents deliver "meals on wheels" and it is from the school lunch.

How do these peeps eat that shit?

tits.

Titus said...

Tyrone, your wife is a "lunch lady"?

Dante said...

@LilyBart
What do these geniuses think will happen to our country and to society when the money runs dry?

Some say we will become like Greece. Except we won't become like Greece because we don't have Germany to bail us out. On the other hand, looking at Greece is constructive. It changed me from thinking another four years of Obama might wake the country up, and have a sea change, to realizing how far down the road you can go and keep it together.

I suspect what will happen is that so many people will be dependent on the government, the thing "We all belong to," government, will get ever bigger.

Perhaps we will follow Russia into communism, and invent a new currency (in Russia it was Vodka). Maybe here it will be hamburgers, as Michelle will only allow us to eat celery sticks.

Titus said...

I have a friend who is a teacher in Boston and 90% of the kids are getting free breakfast and lunch.

kimsch said...

I don't know how payments are done at school these days, but you could have cards that students with money pay for and other students get free.

That's the way it's done here. Our district is majority free/reduced price lunches. Regular lunch, full price is $2.20, reduced price is 40¢, and free is free of course.

Each child has a school ID. Lunch money is "on" the card. The card is scanned at lunch and the appropriate amount is deducted. There are no cash transactions. Children are free to bring their own lunches to school.

In the elementary schools, teachers keep the IDs with their classes. In middle school and above each child wears his or her ID on a lanyard all day.

Our district uses a website called mypaymentsplus.com. Parents can make payments there or send money in to the school.

The IDs are necessary for the free and reduced lunches as well because they track the number of meals.

Dr Weevil said...

Where I taught last year in rural Virginia, students could not tell who got free lunches and who didn't. They gave their 5-digit numbers (the same ones they used to log on to the school computers) to the lunch lady and the meal was automatically charged either to the account their parents had paid for or to the subsidized-food-for-poor-kids account. They could NOT use their numbers to buy other kids food, because their pictures were displayed on the cash register when they typed in their numbers. The picture stayed up until the next kid came through, so you could walk through the cafeteria half an hour after lunch and see who was the last kid through each line, since his/her picture (and name) were still displayed. Nobody but teachers and the occasional outside visitor paid cash.

Aridog said...

Question: With free breakfast, lunch, and apparently, now dinner as well, for "kids"....what will these "kids" do when they leave school? Who will feed them? Cloth them? Does the dependency process ever end?

Brennan said...

Are these programs designed to alleviate or disguise food price inflation?

If the parents aren't actively purchasing items for breakfast, lunch nor dinner, they won't see the shelf price of goods going up.

Aridog said...

Another question: Apparently well enough off parents can pre-fund their kids account for meals by writing a check. Do these parents have the ID required by all banks for transactions? Is this ID required to vote in their precincts? If not, why not?

Oso Negro said...

I would like to advocate stigmatizing the poor. I know it is unpopular, but a little bit of shame at dependency goes a long way to molding a better citizen.

campy said...

what will these "kids" do when they leave school? Who will feed them? Cloth them?

Millionaires, billionaires and corporations.

Chip S. said...

what will these "kids" do when they leave school?

Excellent question. Time for a federal midnight-snack program. It can piggyback on midnight basketball at a minimal cost.

Dante said...

That's the way it's done here. Our district is majority free/reduced price lunches. Regular lunch, full price is $2.20, reduced price is 40¢, and free is free of course.

Why doesn't equal protection under the laws apply here? Because your parents have money you can't get a hot lunch?

AJ Lynch said...

Erika:

Your comment was great - worthy of Instapundit acknowledgement.

I would add it is my understanding a lot of this free stuff is not included as income when the govt caclulates who is in poverty. It should be included IMO cause it is real money.

Tom Spaulding said...

Progressivism: Ideas so great, we gotta make 'em mandatory.

edutcher said...

By all means, let's make these kids so dependent on the government, they only go home to sleep.

that said, I love Jane's idea.

If there's one other problem, it sounds like it reinforces the idea that athletic scholarship is an oxymoron.

PatCA said...

But the money will never run dry--we have the non-political Bernanke printing more as we speak.

Dante said...

But the money will never run dry--we have the non-political Bernanke printing more as we speak.

Actually, perhaps this is a good thing. It means those who own the debt get screwed, and it will become harder to borrow money. Let's do it.

Of course, inflation is going to suck, and so long as China continues to peg the RMB to the dollar, they are going to hurt too.

Chip Ahoy said...

My favorite part about this whole thing is that all the little school kids somehow get fed.

donald said...

Free means the state sticking a gun to your head and demanding your money to buy somebody else's vote.

LilyBart said...

But the money will never run dry--we have the non-political Bernanke printing more as we speak.

Are you familiar with hyper-inflation? There are ALWAYS consequences. Always.

PatCA said...

Yes, I am familiar with hyperinflation, LilyBart. I didn't say flooding the market with dollars was a good thing.

Jane said...

Interesting article not long ago floating around somewhere, with the quite sensible comment that poverty rates don't measure degree of material deprivation but just the inability of families to support themselves. And tacking on welfare benefit after welfare benefit won't increase self-sufficiency.

I once tried to track down the formulas or methods used by the government to set food stamp levels, with no success. I would have expected it to be based on a hypothetical meal plan and average prices, but I couldn't actually figure it out. Food stamp amounts do seem extremely generous when I compare them to what I spend and I'm not sure if they figure everyone buys brand name, steak, and fresh produce in- and out-of-season, at the priciest store rather than at Aldi, or what's going on.

Freeman Hunt said...

We homeschool, but the elementary school we are assigned to has 79% of students on free lunch and 12% on reduced price lunch. That's leaves 9% paying the regular lunch price.

kensei said...

I'd much rather pay taxes to feed kids (whether rich or poor) 3 meals a day at school rather than have the same money pissed away in the usual current popular governmental fashion (endless obscure development studies, "management conferences," land use "visioning", etc.) While the expenditures for "healthy food" may be wasteful or over-inclusive, at least some kid will get to eat.

Aridog said...

Chip S. said...

Time for a federal midnight-snack program.

Aaaagggghhh....

:0

Aridog said...

Freeman Hunt .... dang! You need to DEMAND your "fair share" of that "free lunch money!"..for the home schooling ya' know.

Bizztt, dit dit, splitzz, dot dit..."recalculating" ... rescind that last idea, you'd no doubt get a gummint administrator assigned specifically to you and your house, costing $76,000 per year, for which you would be penalized, uh, uhm, er..."taxed" to support.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

kentuckyliz said...

Oh and talk about learning to be a meek subject of the all powerful state:

Any kid can be random drug tested at any time.



And this is the lesson of every government handout, a lesson that unfortunately is completely lost on liberals. Every time the government gives you something with the right hand, it takes away something with the left. Every trivial government program does this, but with Obamacare we surrender every last vestige of personal sovereignty. A conservative of all people was making the argument on Fox News today that government restrictions on food products were a good thing, because obesity drives up the cost of medical care for all of us. This can only happen when the government forces you to pay for the bad decisions made by other people. When the public must pay for all health care, any human behavior can be, and will be, restricted on the grounds that it "drives up the cost of medical care for all of us." Do you like hang gliding? Uh-uh, too dangerous. I'm not going to pay for your fractured spine. The same goes for surfing, hunting, bicycling, waterskiing, you name it. Do you get it yet, liberals? When you fall into the safety net, it traps you.

Herb Nowell said...

@maudgonne

Kids can get up to three free squares a day at school now.

What are food stamps buying?


We have school lunch, food stamps, WIC, and general assistance.

We have food banks and soup kitchens.

We have all these "donate a meal" things at checkout at the grocery store.

I hear endless ads about childhood hunger.

If we still have childhood hunger after all that everyone running one of the above needs to be shitcanned and the programs ended and started all over.

I feed myself on less that $75/wk and I eat very well. Apparently $100s/wk can feed the poor.

Something is wrong.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Titus said...

Tyrone, your wife is a "lunch lady"?


Yes, Titus, that's what I said. Additionally, she is a female person.

A. Shmendrik said...

Tyrone:

She can serve me creamed corn and hot dogs anytime!

Aridog said...

Tyrone Slothrop: Do you get it yet, liberals? When you fall into the safety net, it traps you.

Perfectly said.

Covers it all...every progressive idea is aimed at reinforcing dependency....and eventually making it not optional.

Kelly said...

I use to substitute in a much less affluent city. It was a military town in fact. Out of 12 elementary schools, 5 middle schools and 4 high schools, none of them had free dinner programs.

Only two of the elementary schools had a free breakfast program. These were extremely low income schools. The kids ate breakfast in the classroom, the teacher had to pick it up, serve it and clean up. Even if a student was late, up until 1030, they had to be offered breakfast. My guess is maybe 2 kids in each class seemed really hungry for the breakfast.

Kelly said...

Kcom, it isn't that the paperwork was to much effort, schools get extra money for each kid that qualifies for the free or reduced meal program.

Ralph L said...

Could the federal government please send somebody to do my dishes? Three times a week should be enough, but please hurry before I run out of counter space.

David said...

I don't mind the lunches or the dinners. Feed all the kids as far as I am concerned and take it out of the school budget. But require that the local governments pay for it. That way people can decide if it's really a priority. Will they pay for it iout of local tax money?

Thirty five cents of every dollar the federal government is spending is now borrowed. The lunch is not free. It's going to be paid for in the future by the kids who are eating the meals now. Those who get educated well enough to,hold jobs, that is.

By the way what is the educational outcome of the kids in this school?

Erika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PatCA said...

They won't let the locals feed the kids--the feds want the power. Our queen just told the Dr. Oz show that she got Congress to appropriate even more money for school lunches/dinners/breakfasts because it hadn't been raised is soooo many years.

Dr. Oz swooned.

Smilin' Jack said...

Oh, quityerbitchin'. All Americans must genuflect in silence at mention of our Americen God, The Pore.

Aridog said...

Ralph L said...

Could the federal government please send somebody to do my dishes?

Certainly, Mr. L...we'll do your dishes, daily if you'd like.

However, OHSA requires we confiscate your knives and forks because sharp or pointy objects are too dangerous for your use unsupervised. Now, if you have the audacity to ask us to use soap, well, there's this EPA penalty...er, uhm, "tax" you will need to pay to the IRS.

As always, we're here to serve you.

sleepless nights said...

@Jane

Yes, that's it. I had never known about Section 8 housing (subsidized housing) until a project on my then-job put me in contact with the system for a few months. I still don't fully understand the amount that Section 8 pays, but I was surprised to learn that it didn't cover the total rent. (Don't have time to google it right now, sorry.)

From what I observed, the landlords were the ones milking the system, not the tenants. Let's say a going private market rate for a crap apartment in a not-great neighborhood was $600 a month. The subsidized housing voucher would discount it a percentage, but the Section 8 landlord would inflate the price to $1500 for the equivalent of the $600 apartment. That way he cleaned up on a huge subsidy of the inflated price, while the tenant only got a real world break of a much smaller portion against market rates.

Meanwhile, the people living there were artificially limited to about 2 residents plus 2 kids. But the only way they could save any real money was to pretty much "illegally" move their boyfriend, extra kids, or anyone they ever met into the apartment, too, until they were all evicted - a very long process.

There were only one or two section 8 landlords in the whole area, but they owned nearly all the official section 8 apartments.

People tend to get mad at the "beneficiaries" they think should be working harder, but really it's the government-funded landlords that break the system.

Aridog said...

sleepless nights said...

People tend to get mad at the "beneficiaries" they think should be working harder, but really it's the government-funded landlords that break the system.

I wonder how Valerie Jarrett would stand up under an audit of her rental properties in Chicago?

Oh, wait ....

kentuckyliz said...

The safety net feels safe when you're falling and it catches you.

It feels treacherous when you try to stand up again, and you realize it has morphed into a steel trap.

I live 10 miles out of town, because all the apartment buildings in town are Section 8. I'm not poor so I can't afford them.

stlgretchen said...

This is Arne Duncan's vision of community schools. The government wants to supplant parents and become the Nanny.

http://www.missourieducationwatchdog.com/2012/04/community-schools-in-chicago-arne.html

Nicodemus Boffin said...

We want, wish and hope our schools will provide our children an effective education that will help them become successful and engaged adults and citizens. Most public schools are primarily funded through locally-raised property taxes paid directly and indirectly by everyone living in the district. The monies are spent on physical plant capital construction and maintenance (e.g., clean, safe and comfortable building, playgrounds and ball fields;) on salaries and wages of teachers, support staff, and administrators; and on a wide number of programs and supplies for the students (e.g., books, computers, athletic and scholastic competitions and contests.
Am I being jejune in thinking that free meals are hardly some baleful expenditure beyond the pale, but rather, are a reasonable and thoroughly useful addition to our children's school day? Most schools have provided a variety of meals and foods throughout the school day for some time. They have also provided access to running water at the fountain and in the washroom, heated rooms in the winter, an auditorium to hear the school band or the school's principal, and a school nurse to attend to the bumps and bruises that are often apart of most kids' school days.
As an interested and concerned community, why should a meal of an apple, a ham sandwich and a glass of milk something we decry offering to all of our school kids?