Monday night, whether it applied or not, most if not all Union parents revived the following robo-call/email
This is Lisa Griffin, Union’s Director of Child Nutrition, calling to tell you about an important deadline. Your student has been receiving free or reduced meals since qualifying last school year. However, effective Wednesday, October 3, your student will need to pay for his or her meals unless a new application is completed and approved by Child Nutrition. To apply online, go to the district web site, unionps.org. Choose Departments, then Child Nutrition, and click on Free and Reduced Meal Application.
If you prefer to fill out a paper application you may call us at 918-357-6136 to request a form, or you may obtain one at your child’s school. Thank you!
For my part, my children not only don't qualify for reduced/free lunch, they take a packed lunch to school. In an attempt to understand how I could have received such a message I came up with two theories
1. Union was too lazy to figure out to whom this message applied so they sent it to everyone.
2. Union wanted to trick as many parents as they can into applying for free lunch so they can get their sweet Title 1 federal money.
I spoke with a gentleman with the Union nutrition program regarding this email. He seemed exasperated with talking to parents about this email (I'm guessing that it had taken up most of his morning). I was told that it was a mistake and that it should have been targeted. But something leaves me feeling unconvinced.
Now, I'm sure that it was a mistake for them to send this notice to parents who had children that were already successfully enrolled into the 2012/2013 program, but I'm not entirely convinced that it was a mistake to send it to the rest of us.
I've seen Union get really excited when one of their schools qualified for Federal Title 1 funding. For an entire school to qualify for Title 1 funds, at least 40% of students must enroll in the free and reduced lunch program. I'm convinced the maps they draw to determine which neighborhoods go to which schools are specifically designed to maximize free/reduced school lunch enrollees as if they were a commodity spent as wisely as possibly. I believe Union would like to find a way to make all of their elementary schools qualify for Title 1. So I wouldn't put it past them to send out a note to all the parents that didn't enroll this year that was designed to maximize enrollment even if it was slightly misleading.
As soon as I get the forthcoming apology note from Union I'll post it Hopefully it will shead light on this "mistake."