Tuesday, May 7, 2013

West Virginia Proposes a Great Program for School Lunches for Everyone – And Naturally Some Republicans Wants to Mess It Up

Adding Kids to the List of People Republicans Hate

The idea of providing free or reduced cost school lunches to children of low income parents is a terrible idea.  It is terrible because it stigmatizes those students and devotes resources to administer such a program that could be better used elsewhere.  What should be done is to have all school lunches free to students.  This is good economics, good nutrition and good policy.

The lunches would not be free, of course, they would be paid for by the taxpayers.  But in this way the wealthier tax payers would pay more and the system would save the cost of administration.  It seems West Virginia may be moving in this direction.

The bill — the first of its kind in the nation — would create a partnership between private donations and public funds to make breakfast and lunch available for free to every student, kindergarten through high school senior, in West Virginia. It’s based on a model program in Mason County that’s improved attendance and decreased discipline problems, according to the school district’s food service director.

So what’s the problem.  Well some jerk of a state legislator wants the program and wants to put kindergartners and grade school children to work.

Ray Canterbury (R-)  (Bob Bird/AP)
West Virginia state Del. Ray Canterbury (R-Greenbrier) (Bob Bird/AP)

I think it would be a good idea if perhaps we had the kids work for their lunches: trash to be taken out, hallways to be swept, lawns to be mowed, make them earn it,” said Ray Canterbury, a Republican from Greenbrier and a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, 

And if this interferes with school, well that’s okay with this Neanderthal who apparently never mentally got past the first grade.

“If they [students] miss a lunch or they miss a meal they might not, in that class that afternoon, learn to add, they may not learn to diagram a sentence, but they’ll learn a more important lesson,” Canterbury explained. (Note to Canterbury: As a parent, I can tell you that they’re not teaching kids how to diagram sentences in many schools these days.)

Now child labor laws have protected children since the 1930’s. And the idea that six, seven and eight year olds, or even 12 or 13 year olds should have to work is appalling.   But apparently Republicans think that child protection is just too much interference in the economy, and so they have a neat idea of how to put children back to work.  It’s simple kids, work or starve.

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