Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch
What does this measure?
The number of students eligible for free or reduced price school lunches as a percentage of all students in full day prekindergarten through 12th grade. Students are eligible for free lunch if their family's income is at or below 130% of the national poverty level.
Why is this important?
This measure not only shows the proportion of low-income students and families in an area, but also is an indication of the potential challenges facing schools as they work to educate children who have fewer resources.
How is Dutchess County performing?
In 2014, 30% of students in Dutchess County were eligible for free or reduced price lunch, below both the statewide (excluding NYC) rate of 38% and the 2014 national rate of 50%. From 2005 through 2014, Dutchess consistently had the lowest rate of counties in the Mid-Hudson Valley, and its rate in 2014 was 9 points less than Ulster's and 10 points less than Orange's. From 2005 to 2014, Dutchess's rate increased 9 points, in line with increases at the regional (11 points), state (9 points), and national (13 points through 2013) levels. Among local municipalities, the rate was particularly high in Poughkeepsie (94%).
Notes about the data
Not all students who are eligible for free or reduced priced lunch participate in the program.