5 August 2005
Feed the children already
Mike at Okiedoke is alarmed by statistics which show that nearly 83 percent of students in the Oklahoma City school district qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. (The comparable figure for the larger Tulsa district is 78 percent.)
This might be less alarming in the context of where the Oklahoma City school district actually is: right in the middle of town, with an arm extending into relatively poor areas in the northeastern part of Oklahoma County. Much of the city proper is actually served by suburban districts: Putnam City, Edmond, Moore, Mid-Del, Western Heights, and 18 others.
We have schools such as Monroe Elementary with 57 percent of their students eligible for the free and reduced lunch program with an API score of 1291 out of a possible 1500. That puts this school among the top ranking 35 elementary schools in the metropolitan area. Other top ranking schools with a large percentage of students qualifying for the free and reduced lunch program include Westwood Elementary, Ridgeview Elementary, Wilson Elementary, Rancho Village Elementary, Van Buren Elementary, Linwood Elementary, Johnson Elementary and Hawthorne Elementary. All of these schools have an API score of 1200 or higher and a free and reduced lunch student population of 60 percent or more.
Monroe, incidentally, is right down the street (two blocks) from me. It's not a poor area by any means we're talking less than a mile west of 50 Penn Place but still 57 percent of the students qualify for the lunch program.
Mike thinks this is a sign that the economy isn't all it could be, and of course it isn't, but it's not a sign that we're on the edge of collapse.Posted at 9:02 AM to City Scene