Percentage of kids to receive free or reduced lunches rises - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Percentage of kids to receive free or reduced lunches rises for 9th year in a row

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The percentage of children in Wisconsin public schools who come from families poor enough to receive free and reduced-priced lunches has increased for the ninth year in a row.

The state Department of Public Instruction reported Monday that 43.2 percent of children in public schools are on the programs, up from 42.5 percent the previous year.

There are nearly 359,000 students in Wisconsin in the programs.

Nearly 37 percent of students come from families that earn less than $30,000 a year, qualifying them for free meals. Another 6.3 percent are eligible for reduced-price meals.

There are 110 school districts with more than half of their students in the program, including Wisconsin's five largest districts in Milwaukee, Madison, Kenosha, Green Bay and Racine.

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