Why should the child of a family that can afford to pay for school lunch have the meal subsidized?
Giving away school breakfast and lunch to all fosters and expands the entitlement mentality. If the government is going to feed all children for free, why not clothe them? Why not take them to the dentist and make sure they wash behind their ears?
The private donations used to draw down the federal money take away from other needs. Is $1,000 from a private donor better used paying to feed middle-class children or to help the truly needy?
We're already feeding low-income children at little or no cost. Families making up to 130 percent of the poverty level qualify for free lunches for their children, and families with incomes of up to 185 percent of the poverty level qualify for reduced-price lunches.
What happens when/if the government pulls back on funding for expanded child nutrition programs or private donations slow down? Will West Virginia cut its entitlement?
That's unlikely. Instead, the money will have to be found someplace else.
Unger's idea, while heartfelt, is a solution in search of a problem.
Public education in West Virginia has myriad issues, but ensuring that children of middle- and upper-income families have lunch money is not one of them.
Kercheval is host of TalkLine, broadcast by the MetroNews Statewide Radio Network from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The show can be heard locally on WCHS 580 AM.