School Board to Vote to Remove Punishments for Unpaid Student Meal Debt

The School Board is set to approve a change to its policy on school meal debt, that will limit the punishment students and families may face for not making payments.

This year, all students have access to one free meal a day thanks to a federal USDA program. Previously, only students whose families qualify as low-income could receive free and subsidized meals.  Under the program, students must still pay for a-la-cart items, and second meals. It is still unclear if the program will extend beyond this year. 

Under the revised policy, the School Board may not file lawsuits against students’ parents if they cannot pay their child’s meal debt.

Additionally, employees may not force a child to throw away food that they’ve already been served if they cannot pay. Staff is also prohibited from forcing students who can’t pay for food to wear a handstamp or wristband. 

The School Board will vote on the changes to the policy as part of its consent agenda during its Nov. 29 meeting.

7 thoughts on “School Board to Vote to Remove Punishments for Unpaid Student Meal Debt

  • 2021-11-26 at 2:51 pm
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    These new guidelines seem very reasonable. I trust they’ll be approved without controversy at Tuesday’s school board meeting. Nobody should be shamed due to lack of funds. Happy Holidays Loudoun!

    • 2021-11-29 at 4:35 pm
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      As long as this applies to parents or guardians who cannot afford to pay, not to those that don’t want to pay and have the means to pay then it makes sense,

  • 2021-11-26 at 2:57 pm
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    “Under the revised policy, the School Board may not file lawsuits against students’ parents if they cannot pay their child’s meal debt.”

    Are there defined criteria which differentiate the “cannots” from the “will nots?”

  • 2021-11-26 at 6:55 pm
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    This makes sense and comes from the LCSB so what am I missing?

  • 2021-11-27 at 9:35 am
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    That should teach responsibility and good citizenship.
    Oh, that’s right, everyone is a victim and deserves free stuff.

  • 2021-11-28 at 3:55 pm
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    I believe all government programs ought to be “means tested.” It is very likely that poorer Loudoun residents are now paying for school lunches for the children of some reasonably wealthy residents.

    And has anyone every explored the cost of preparing and serving a “free lunch” to 80,000 children each day? A wise person once told me, “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

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