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 Ulster County performing?
In 2016, 45% of Ulster County students were eligible for free or reduced price lunch, equal to the statewide (excluding NYC) rate. Among counties in the Mid-Hudson Valley, Ulster's rate in 2016 was higher than both Orange (42%) and Dutchess (31%). From 2005 through 2016, Ulster's rate increased 17 percentage points, similar to the state (excluding NYC) increase of 16 points and greater than the regional increase of 13 points over the same timeframe. Among local districts, rates of eligible students were particularly high in Kingston (57%).
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.