Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Must the ‘Village’ Feed Our Kids?

Most people know that public school districts provide free or reduced-cost lunches for low-income students. What you may not know is that free breakfast is also available, and this idea is becoming increasingly popular. Many school districts have a large number of students considered eligible for free breakfast, sometimes as many as two-thirds of the student body. In fact, many districts offer free breakfast to all its students, regardless of family income. Some schools even offer free breakfast and free lunch all summer to all students, even though class is not in session.

Free breakfast is another leftwing program. Like many progressive ideas, it sets out to solve a nonexistent problem. It is not expensive for parents to feed their children breakfast—a nutritious breakfast can be bought for less than a dollar. For families who cannot afford this, there are hundreds of public programs and private charities that provide food to the poor. Public school districts are not full of students whose parents are truly unable to give them breakfast. It is a waste of tax dollars for schools to provide free breakfast—especially when we consider how often public schools are begging for more taxpayers' money.

Free breakfast programs encourage irresponsible parenting. Providing children with food is one of the most basic requirements of parenthood, but if schools are offering to feed children free, that’s too enticing for many people to pass up. Too many parents are ready and willing to turn their own responsibilities over to public schools—and onto the taxpayer. A free breakfast teaches parents and children to be dependent on government. Like many so-called progressive ideas, free breakfast is a bad idea because it promotes dependency on government. Do you think free breakfast is one of the things liberals mean when they say the “village” should raise the child?

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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