Wednesday, July 14, 2010

All That Money

Today a neighbor told me that his two boys are going to summer school for the first time. Upon signing them up, he'd been shocked to learn that not only is summer school free, but the school district provides a free lunch for every registered child.

When he'd asked where the money to feed all the kids comes from (everyone in town knows our school district is broke) he was told that it came from a federal grant. The justification for the grant—or perhaps one of its justifications—was that for most of the kids, the school's lunch is their only square meal of the day, and hungry kids are hard to teach.

He said, "And out of all the kids going, my boys are two of maybe five who are white."

I waited for the punchline. I didn't have to wait long.

He said, "It just seems like they could think of a better way to spend all that money."

"On what, for instance?" I asked.

"I don't know," he said. "Something."

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