Oh Those Pesky Hot Lunch Forms
“I’m not filling out that form. What I make is no one else’s business.” “My kids don’t eat school lunch, so why should I fill out the form?”
Families at Fosston Public Schools ISD 601 will soon be getting a letter from the district office about school lunch prices, and the federal application for benefits (the free and reduced price lunch form). For a variety of reasons, including the ones stated at the opening of this article, some families choose to not fill out the form. But there are several very good reasons to fill it out, even if your student doesn’t eat lunch at school.
The most important reason for YOUR schools is financial. The district is eligible for funding from the state called “compensatory education dollars”. These dollars are awarded based on the number of students eligible for free and reduced lunches. However, ALL students attending ISD 601 benefit from those funds. The money becomes part of the general fund, and can be used to help students who need extra support to be successful in school. That might mean support in reading and math. That might be support with mental health or behavioral health (working with a social worker or counselor). And, these are services that any student can access. This funding helps keep class sizes lower, which benefits all students. Completed free and reduced forms also help with something called “e-rate” which is a federal subsidy for internet and telephone services , which allows our students access to educational programs and services that they might not get if the subsidy didn’t exist.
When we receive additional state aid, we are able to continue offering programs for students. Like many rural schools, we are experiencing declining enrollment. Declining enrollment leads to fewer dollars available. Costs continue to rise. If we are able to generate additional state aid dollars for the students we do have, that will allow us to continue to offer strong educational programs to our community, that will help OUR children be successful. Filling out the hot lunch forms is one simple way we can make that happen. And, this state aid does not add to local property taxes.
So, please, when you receive the letter from the school about lunches, take 10 minutes (or less), fill out the forms and return them to the school. Our goal is 100% return. If you need help with the form or have questions, please call the district office at 218.435.6335.
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