California charter schools (student meal reporting problems)

“California unable to determine if charter schools are meeting students’ nutritional needs.” LA Times (CA), 10/22/2010)
A state audit to determine whether public charter school students are receiving nutritional meals on campus could not be fully completed because government databases are not reliable or detailed enough, officials said Thursday.

Although the report found that many California charter schools provide meals to their students, state auditor Elaine Howle said it was not possible to determine how many of the students were eligible for or participating in subsidized lunch and breakfast programs.

Charter schools — independently run, publicly financed campuses — are exempt from the federal law requiring public schools to provide needy students with at least one nutritionally adequate meal a day at a reduced price or for free.

Advocates for low-income families are concerned that this could force some parents to choose between the educational and nutritional needs of their children…

Some schools said they did not have the facilities to prepare, deliver and serve meals. Others cited a lack of staff and funding to operate a meal program or cope with the administrative requirements of enrolling students for subsidized breakfasts and lunches…

No comments: