Any school that bans homemade lunches also puts more money in the pockets of the district's food provider, Chartwells-Thompson. The federal government pays the district for each free or reduced-price lunch taken, and the caterer receives a set fee from the district per lunch.
I wonder if there's a robust exercise program as well, or if they've at least not yet canceled recess?
"We don't spend anywhere close to that on my son's daily intake of a sandwich (lovingly cut into the shape of a Star Wars ship), Goldfish crackers and milk," education policy professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach wrote in an email.
will children who have religious based food restrictions be accommodated as well?
If you support this, then surely you also support a government organization dictating what adults eat, no?
This is about Ronald Reagan and the slow dismantling of the US as a functioning 20th century state.
About 25 years ago, the school day for Chicago elementary children ran from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and students had 45 minutes to go home for lunch, said Margaret M. Harrigan, a professor of education at DePaul University who served, among other things, as a principal and administrator in the public school system for 44 years.
Schools began closing their campuses after residents in Austin complained about children walking across their lawns and fighting, Harrigan recalled.
That meant the teachers had to monitor students’ lunch periods and move their own lunches to 2:30 p.m., effectively ending the day 45 minutes earlier and eliminating much of the time children had to socialize and play. Today, most schools allow students 20 minutes to eat inside the building, school officials said.
Harrigan said the change hurt kids. “Schools have decided that the way to deal with predominantly poor, minority populations is to lock them up. What they are doing is simulating prison conditions.”
But not all schools have dropped recess, the Reporter found. Schools with the lowest percent of poor and minority children are the most likely to still get recess, according to the Reporter’s survey of 485 of the 495 schools for which racial data are available; 22 declined to participate. Thirty of the 59 schools with a student enrollment at least 30 percent white still have recess, compared to only 40 of the 318 schools that are less than 5 percent white.
The numbers are even more striking at schools with a high percentage of low-income students, defined as those who have signed up for free or reduced-price lunches. Recess is available in only about 10 percent of schools that are at least 95 percent low-income. That proportion climbs as the poverty rate declines: At 14 schools with less than 30 percent low-income students, 12 enjoy recess.
A principal’s decision to eliminate or curtail recess “has nothing to do with race or poverty,” said Cozette M. Buckney, chief education officer for the Chicago Public Schools. The Illinois School Code does not include a policy on recess.
“They make those determinations based on what academic concerns they have for the school, or what safety and health concerns recess may cause.”
Chicago schools did away with recess in the late 1970s, as most public schools adopted a “closed campus” policy after the Chicago Teachers Union won that option in its 1973 contract.
Schools eliminated a 10-minute morning recess, a 10-minute afternoon recess and a lengthy student lunch period. Lunch for teachers then was pushed to the end of the day, allowing them to leave early if they wanted.
But the self-interest of teachers was hardly the only reason for the move to closed campuses. Principals of schools in more dangerous neighborhoods had legitimate worries that kids who went home during the longer lunch break would never come back or — worse — would run into trouble on the street.
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