A New Bill Would Require Maine Schools To Offer Hot Lunch To Students Regardless If They Can Pay
A source of hurt feelings and heartache for decades within the walls of schools across the state of Maine has been inside the cafeteria. There, on a daily basis, some students haven't been able to eat the same hot lunch as others simply because they can't afford it. In some school districts, that rule has been changed, allowing every student to enjoy the same lunch and according to the Forecaster, a new bill proposal wants to make that change a statewide mandate.
The opposing side to the bill wonders exactly how towns and school districts will afford to pay for the students who can't afford the lunches themselves. For some school districts, they face a debt of thousands and thousands of dollars due to students who cannot pay for their school lunches. School districts are then forced to dip into their reserve funds to cover it, and if there are no reserve funds, make difficult cuts elsewhere.
The new bill's main purpose is to stop the "shaming" of students who simply cannot afford lunch on a daily basis. Additionally, any correspondence about a school lunch debt would strictly be between the parents of the student and school administrators.
Portland has already adopted what the bill is proposing and while it has helped in quelling the shaming of students in the cafeteria, it has left the Portland school system with significant debt. What kind of situation would other smaller school districts find themselves in if the bill is passed?
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