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The following Table 1 lists the annual percentages the last 16 years of Lebanon and Statewide students who received free or reduced price lunches because their family income was low enough to qualify. Since 2000-01, the Statewide average increased 1.64 times from 30 percent to 49.2 percent while the qualifying Lebanon students increased 1.97 times from 21 percent to 41.4 percent. Too many Lebanon school students qualify for free and reduced price lunches because of low family incomes.
Table 1. Percent of Students Receiving Free or Reduced Price Lunches
(Source: Lebanon Community School Corporation Annual Performance Reports)
(Note: LCSC is the Lebanon Community School Corporation)
(Note: State is the statewide average)
2013-14: LCSC 41.4% and State 49.2%
2012-13: LCSC 43.6% and State 49%
2011-12: LCSC 42.2% and State 48.2%
2010-11: LCSC 43.3%
2009-10: LCSC 40.7%
2008-09: LCSC 39% and State 44%
2007-08: LCSC 38%
2006-07: LCSC 33%
2004-05: LCSC 30% and State 37%
2003-04: LCSC 31%
2002-03: LCSC 26%
2001-02: LCSC 24% and State 32%
2000-01: LCSC 21% and State 30%
1999-00: LCSC 18%
1998-99: LCSC 23%
Workforce development will be an important factor in reducing the percentage of Lebanon students who qualify for free and reduced price lunches. Parents and students need to avail themselves of continuing education beyond high school to better prepare themselves for good paying jobs. Attaining a four-year college degree is a good continuing education strategy for some persons, while other persons will be better served by other workforce development programs. Several options that exist, or are planned, for Lebanon’s student and adult workforce to develop the skills needed to pursue fulfilling careers that pay a Get-Ahead Wage can be found online at http://www.finplaneducation.net/workforce_development_options.htm.
Identifying a threshold hourly Get-Ahead Wage is a helpful first step in deciding which workforce development programs will result in career choices that generate incomes sufficient to reduce the percentage of Lebanon students who qualify for free and reduced price lunches.A Get-Ahead Wage will not only meet basic needs but will also enable a family to plan for emergencies and meet long-term needs such as retirement and family education.
The following Table 2 shows that there are 1,910 Lebanon families with children, 675 single parents in Lebanon, and 2.97 persons in a average Lebanon family. Therefore, to reduce the percentage of Lebanon students who qualify for free and reduced price lunches, the identification of get-ahead wages will be important for the following Lebanon families: (a) 2 Adults (both working) and 1 Child, (b) 2 Adults (one working) and 1 Child, (c) 1 Adult and 1 Child, and (d) 1 Adult and 2 Children.
Table 2. 2010 Census Demographic Profiles for City of Lebanon
6,433 Total Occupied Households
15,310 Persons in Occupied Households
2.38 Average Household Size
2.97 Average Family Size
482 Persons in Group Quarters (3.1 percent)
4,049 Families (62.9 percent)
1,910 Families with Children (29.7 percent)
2,960 Married Couples (46.0 percent)
675 Single Parents (10.5 percent)
1,986 Living Alone (30.9 percent)
547 Unmarried Partners (8.5 percent)
The following Tables 3 and 4 list the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service Income Eligibility Guidelines that are effective from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016 for schools, institutions, and facilities participating in the National School Lunch Program (and Commodity School Program), School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program. A Lebanon household with three persons that has an annual income of $37,167 or less qualifies for reduced price school meals. A full time job that pays $17.87 an hour will generate an annual income more than $37,167 so that a student from a three person Lebanon household will not qualify for free or reduced price school lunches.
Table 3. Free School Meal Income Eligibility Guidelines
Table 4. Reduced Price School Meal Income Eligibility Guidelines
The following Table 5 lists the living wage for various Boone County households using the widely accepted Living Wage Calculator provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The MIT Living Wage Calculator covers a geographically specific basic needs budget plus taxes. The basic needs budget includes a family’s likely minimum food, child care, health care (including health insurance), housing, transportation, and other basic necessity (such as clothing and personal care items) costs. The MIT Living Wage is how much income is needed for a family of a certain composition in a given place to adequately meet their basic needs without public or private assistance. The MIT Living Wage is the per adult hourly rate that must be earned to support a family when working full-time (2,080 hours per year). The Boone County per adult living wage hourly rates for selected households are as follows: (a) $11.44 for 2 Adults (both working) and 1 Child, (b) $19.85 for 2 Adults (one working) and 1 Child, (c) $20.72 for 1 Adult and 1 Child, and (d) $24.80 for 1 Adult and 2 Children.
5. Boone County Living Wage
$8.22 per hour for 2 Adults (both working) = $34,179 annual family total
$9.94 per hour for 1 Adult = $20,684 annual family total
$11.44 per hour for 2 Adults (both working) and 1 Child = $47,584 annual family total
$13.73 per hour for 2 Adults (both working) and 2 Children = $57,105 annual family total
$15.91 per hour for 2 Adults (both working) and 3 Children = $66,192 annual family total
$16.43 per hour for 2 Adults (one working) = $34,179 annual family total
$19.85 per hour for 2 Adults (one working) and 1 Child = $41,296 annual family total
$20.72 per hour for 1 Adult and 1 Child = $43,102 annual family total
$22.40 per hour for 2 Adults (one working) and 2 Children = $46,586 annual family total
$24.73 per hour for 2 Adults (one working) and 3 Children = $51,442 annual family total
$24.80 per hour for 1 Adult and 2 Children = $51,587 annual family total
$31.20 per hour for 1 Adult and 3 Children = $64,889 annual family total
If an adult in all Lebanon households worked full time earning $20 an hour, it is anticipated that the percentage of Lebanon students who qualify for free and reduced price lunches would be significantly reduced.A full time job earning at least $20 an hour would be a Get-Ahead Wage for many Lebanon families – there would be sufficient household income to not only meet basic needs but to also plan for emergencies and meet long-term needs such as retirement and family education.
Using a threshold Get-Ahead Wage of at least $20 an hour will help identify both (1) which available workforce development programs (other than a four-year college degree) will be most advantageous for Lebanon adults and students and (2) which companies should be awarded tax abatements and Tax Increment Financing infrastructure subsidies. The public and private assistance costs are too high when Lebanon residents settle for, and elected officials incentivize, low wage jobs.
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This page was last updated on 09/01/15 .