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 is also an indication of the potential challenges facing schools as they work to educate children who have fewer resources.
How is the region performing?
In 2016, 39% of students in the region were eligible for free or reduced price lunch, below the statewide (excluding NYC) rate of 45%. Ulster, at 45%, followed by Orange at 42% and Dutchess at 31% in 2016, each reflected rate increases of 10 percentage points or more since 2005. Regionally, the rate increased 14 percentage points, while the statewide (excluding NYC) rate increased 16 points over that same timeframe. Among regional districts, rates were highest in Kiryas Joel (96%), Middletown (76%), and Newburgh (73%).
Notes about the data
Comparable national data was not available for 2015 and 2016. Not all students who are eligible for free or reduced priced lunch participate in the program. Data for this indicator are expected to be released in the second quarter.