Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

Simple Test for CMS

Investigate credible evidence of widespread cheating in the system’s free lunch program remotely as vigorously as supposed cheating in athletic eligibility was investigated by CMS.

Early indications are that CMS will instead hide behind state and federal bureaucrats rather than do the right thing.

Bonus Observation: Maybe the reason one CMS HS has thus far avoided the full-on CMS inquisition on athletic eligibility is that one of its coaches is dating the daughter of an area super. Just a thought.

11 Responses to “Simple Test for CMS”

  • Aug
    01
    2008

    A world war 2 veteran recently told me that at his school during the depression you were considered a sissy if you eat lunch at school. How times have changed!
    Under todays guidelines I probably would have qualified for a reduced lunch in the 60′s and 70′s. I would also guess that my own children in the 90′s would have also.
    The thought never entered the mind of my mom and dad to ask for anything free and that is the way I was raised.

    These parents who expect the taxpayer to feed their children need a good lesson in how to deny themselves things they want such as too nice a car ,clothes,shoes and eating out. Rent and lunch money for the kids come first.

    Is it true what I read that a lot of kids are fed at school during the summer break?

  • Aug
    01
    2008

    http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/includes/gfi.asp?fileHandle=5552.asp

    -food program off to a yummy start

    Hundreds of Mecklenburg County children are filling their bellies this summer with nutritious meals as part of the CMS Child Nutrition Services summer-food program. The program began June 16 and will run through Aug. 8. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    Free meals for breakfast and lunch are being served to children who live in Mecklenburg County at more than 130 open and closed sites. These sites include most CMS schools and some churches, YMCA branches and summer camps.
    According to child nutrition services, 17,902 breakfasts and 37,644 lunches have been served at CMS schools since June 30. Approximately 28,236 bag lunches have been served at other school lunch program sites.
    At participating CMS schools, meals include breakfast bagels, assorted cereals, pizza, cheese slices, hamburgers, low-fat milks, juices, vegetables and fruits. Church and school locations receive bag lunches that include sandwiches, low-fat milks and fruits.

    dj

  • Aug
    01
    2008

    Don’t know for certain if I’m the “someone” referred to in the article but I did email Gjertsen specifically about this subject, and its effect on the “equity”, or lack thereof, of allocations of resources in CMS. If so, I’ve no problem with Gjertsen revealing that….

    CMS meal program challenged
    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/breaking/story/99814.html
    By Eric Frazier
    efrazier@charlotteobserver.com
    Posted: Thursday, Jul. 31, 2008
    A Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board member is raising questions about the school system’s $30 million-a-year, free- and reduced-price lunch program after an audit resulted in benefits being lowered or canceled for more than 60 percent of families checked.
    Schools officials disclosed results of an October 2007 audit of more than 700 applications after questions were raised recently by school board member Ken Gjertsen. Out of the 704 applications sampled, 263 families had their benefits reduced and another 174 were removed from the program because they failed to respond to information requests.
    Gjertsen said he asked school administrators for more information about the federally funded lunch program after someone e-mailed him expressing concerns.

    Dale “someone” Johnson?

  • Aug
    01
    2008

    Evidently all parents of CMS students received a mailer from CMS Child Nutrition Services within the past week. Minimally it is informative, at worst it is promotional. Promotional in that it was sent to ALL parents and alerts them to the possibility of applying for free and reduced meals when they may have not done so otherwise.

    My wife, who opens the mail in our house, seems to remember receiving this mailing last year also, but not in years before that. I was led to believe that the way this program worked was that parents had to REQUEST from the school an application for free/reduced lunch–not that it was mailed to ALL parents. Obviously doing the latter increases applications and the likelihood of fraud.

    In the instructions for applying it is also pointed out that you nor the student have to be citizens to get the benefit. Nor do you have to have SSN.

    With a household of five, if I made $45,000 a year or less, I’d qualify. Seems like an easy threshold. So if we suspect one-third to two-thirds of applicants are fraud, and then that the threshold is liberal, if sure suggests that the idea of using free and reduced lunch qualified numbers as indicators of poverty, and then allocate school resources based on those numbers, such a method would be inappropriate and inaccurate. And it sure shorts those of us not in the program and our schools not getting the 30%-50% additional funding that “equity” programs require.

    Just some observations to ponder.

    dj

  • Aug
    01
    2008

    Graph in the hard copy and apparently not online shows almost 50% of kids in CMS get F/R lunches.

    That has always struck me as a questionably high percentage. I’ve always question is Charlotte really that poor? Perhaps…just trying to a handle on the info.

    Cut off to get reduced price lunch is around $40,000 for a family of four.

    NC Justice Center reports:
    The 2008 version of the LIS finds that the typical North Carolina family with
    children must earn $41,184 annually – an amount equal to 201 percent of the
    federal poverty level – to afford the actual costs of seven essential expenses:
    housing, food, childcare, health care, transportation, other necessities and
    taxes.
    http://www.ncjustice.org/assets/library/1169_2008lisreportmar.pdf

    Points to ponder…..dj

  • Aug
    01
    2008

    The county itself also has tremendous numbers on public asst. of one form or another.

    None of this is by accident.

  • Aug
    01
    2008

    Don’t forget that a lot of the wealthier families have pulled their kids out of CMS and put them in private schools, or simply moved out of the county completely. This reduction of wealthy kids would cause the percentage of less fortunate kids in CMS to skew upwards by a fair amount.

    How sad is it that the school system has so many issues that many of the kids are there simply because their parents can’t afford to send them somewhere better?

  • Aug
    01
    2008

    And yes, I have a personal perspective on free lunches also, as I do many subjects.

    As a kid in Blacksburg, VA, back in ’60-’70, my parents qualified for reduced priced lunches but never used the program. They came up with the money for me to pay full price. My dad was a blue collar worker for General Electric working as a quality control inspector. dj

  • Aug
    01
    2008

    Dale “someone” Johnson

    You might be a racist for even bringing up this topic. Norman Mitchell had better keep an eye on you. Maybe George Dunlap can help him. :-)

  • Aug
    01
    2008

    “Evidently all parents of CMS students received a mailer from CMS Child Nutrition Services within the past week. Minimally it is informative, at worst it is promotional. Promotional in that it was sent to ALL parents and alerts them to the possibility of applying for free and reduced meals when they may have not done so otherwise.

    My wife, who opens the mail in our house, seems to remember receiving this mailing last year also, but not in years before that. I was led to believe that the way this program worked was that parents had to REQUEST from the school an application for free/reduced lunch–not that it was mailed to ALL parents. Obviously doing the latter increases applications and the likelihood of fraud.”

    To be fair, an updated article in the CO points out that the federal government requires that an application be sent to the parents of every student. CMS doesn’t make the decision to mail out the apps. But doing so still promotes the program, and the opportunity for fraud. dj

  • Aug
    01
    2008

    [...] Jeff Taylor at the Meck Deck blog wonders this: Bonus Observation: Maybe the reason one CMS HS has thus far avoided the full-on [...]

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