by Locker Room contributor
Earlier today, President Barack Obama signed into law a reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act that adds another $4.5 billion in funding over the next 10 years. The CNA is the federal legislation that governs entitlements such as the National School Lunch Program.
The bill, though, failed to deal in any substantial way with potential fraud in the school lunch program. Instead, it expanded the base of students eligible to participate.
The bill does have a silver lining. It requires school districts with high administrative errors rates in determining children’s eligibility to review their work for accuracy before notifying families of whether or not they’ll qualify for, or remain in, the program. That’s likely to reduce the number of families participating who are above the income threshold (the upper limit is around $40,000 per-year for a family of four).
Even so, the number of ineligible families participating as a result of administrative error is much lower than the number of ineligible families who participate as a result of parents or guardians misreporting income on the application forms (and possibly doing so intentionally to cheat the system). Yet the reauthorization legislation doesn’t the address the latter of these two.