District concerned that undocumented families don’t want to fill out paperwork
Free and reduced lunch (FRL) applications are down by over 350 this year, a drop that doesn’t match statistics on income level around the county.
“We are concerned that immigrant families are reluctant to fill out the paperwork to receive free and reduced lunch benefits because they are worried it could affect their legal status,” says Meghan McCracken, BVSD Equity & Partnerships Coordinator.
A Federal “Public Charge” test that was set to go into effect in October, but is under appeal, would be used by immigration officials to decide if a person has become, or is likely to become, primarily dependent on the government for assistance by receiving one or more public benefits.
“We want families to know that the Free and Reduced Lunch Program is not a public benefit included in Public Charge testing,” says McCracken.
The FRL application requires income information for everyone in a family. Sections asking for social security number or information about immigration status can be left blank.
“We really want to make sure the students in our district are getting the nutritious meals they need to be healthy and excel in the classroom,” says Ann Cooper, BVSD Food Services Director.
Boulder Valley School District remains dedicated to educating each and every student and ensuring they and their family feel safe and welcomed, regardless of their race, gender identity, legal status or any other factor.
BVSD will never ask for a student or parent’s citizenship or immigration status.
If we learn of a student’s immigration status we would never share this with immigration officials.
Immigrant Legal Center (English and Spanish)