Reprinted from Smirking Chimp
Republican Rep. Jack Kingston believes if poor kids want to eat a school lunch, they should have to sweep the cafeteria floors
(Image by The Majority Report with Sam Seder, Channel: The Majority Report with Sam Seder) Permission Details DMCA
When it comes to children, Republicans are hypocrites.
They go on and on about how "pro-life" they are, but they really only care about "humans" before they're born. After that, they couldn't care less.
Case in point: the so-called "Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016," the brainchild of Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita that would decimate a key part of the federal free lunch program.
This bill is about as mean-spirited as it gets, and to understand why, you first need to understand something about how the federal free lunch program works.
Thanks to something called "community eligibility," students at certain schools automatically qualify to get a free lunch if 40 percent of their classmates live in poverty.
Although it may not sound like much, this is a really big deal.
Under community eligibility, high poverty schools no longer have to fill out the mountains of paperwork they'd normally have to fill out to get individual students enrolled in the free lunch program.
Everyone is enrolled, and as a result, these high poverty schools are now free to focus on other problems like, you know, educating their students.
Sounds like pretty good idea, right? Not only are you keeping kids healthy, you're also cutting a lot of red tape.
That's something everyone can get behind.
Everyone that is, except for Representative Rokita.
Rokita's "Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016" would raise the poverty threshold necessary to participate in community eligibility to 60 percent.
Again this might not sound like much, but in the context of how the free lunch program actually functions, it's a really, really, big deal.
If Representative Rokita's bill becomes law, more than 7,000 schools serving almost 3.5 million students would be affected.
Those schools would no longer get to use community eligibility to automatically enroll all students in the free lunch program and would instead have to go back to the old application system, student by student, with its mountains and mountains of paperwork.