AuthorTopic: 🎓 Subprime Student Loans  (Read 10880 times)

Offline RE

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Totally worthless window dressing, of course.

As this fiasco gets greater and greater attention, any millenial holding a decent size balance in loans is going to vote for whoever credibly promises them debt relief.  At the moment, that would be Liz Warren.  Are these new voters getting polled?  I suspect not at the moment.  We'll get an answer to this question after the first couple of primaries, not before.  That's assuming of course said primaries aren't rigged, which is a big assumption.  ::)

RE
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Offline Ashvin

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Re: 🎓 Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2018: Doing the Math
« Reply #136 on: May 08, 2019, 06:27:31 AM »
the conclusion would be that an across the board student loan amnesty program would mostly benefit the middle to upper class cohorts who can afford to pay back some of their loans.

Of course.  That's why the demonstrations are packed with middle to upper class white kids, not poor black kids.  ::)

RE


So are you against these "liberal progressive" proposals to "cancel all student debt"? Based on your own stats and articles, you should be.

First off, I'm not a "liberal progressive", they're almost as annoying as conservative libertarians.  Second, I already stated what I would like to see a couple of pages back in my response to K-Dog, a post ignored by the Radical Right Representatives here.  You're not keeping up with the posting.

RE

You mean this?

Quote from: RE
That would be an improvement, but fundamentally since you need education to succeed within the society, it should be provided as a cost to the society as a whole, as it is from pre-K through HS.  Fact is, a HS education doesn't do jack shit for you anymore, the decent paying jobs in manufacturing have all long since flown the coop to 3rd World countries with lower wages and lower CoL.  In the words of Bruce Springsteen, "Those jobs are gone boys, and they ain't never coming back".

Getting into higher levels of education should be competitive and require success at the lower levels to qualify. However, there shouldn't be gate-keeping in the form of numerical levels of people trained for any given profession.  As many people as qualify should have the training available to them at no cost.

Provision also needs to be made for people who are NOT smart enough to cut the mustard in the competition for further education, and at some point along the line"flunk out".  Just being STOOPID should not consign you to a life of endless poverty and indebtedness.  At one time here in the FSoA there were jobs for these people, working on one of Henry Ford's production lines and so forth.  Deadly boring, mind numbing jobs, but they paid a decent wage.  Remember, fully half the population at any given time has an IQ under 100.  You're going to pay all these folks min wage as Starbucks Baristas?  Sorry, that dog won't hunt.  These folks deserve at least a reasonable standard of living too, despite being STOOPID.  Unless they voted for Trumpovetsky, in which case they can eat Dog Food and live in Favelas as far as I am concerned. lol.

I don't see an answer to that question in here. What would you do about existing student loan borrowers?

You and Surly started alleging that Eddie and I were promoting a "radical right" perspective on this issue, just because we don't think everyone who has a student loan should be given relief (especially the doctors and lawyers). If you agree with that, then all of your radical right accusations just stem from your inability to comprehend our posts.

Offline Surly1

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Re: 🎓 Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2018: Doing the Math
« Reply #137 on: May 08, 2019, 09:16:21 AM »

You and Surly started alleging that Eddie and I were promoting a "radical right" perspective on this issue, just because we don't think everyone who has a student loan should be given relief (especially the doctors and lawyers). If you agree with that, then all of your radical right accusations just stem from your inability to comprehend our posts.

This is patently untrue. I asked Eddie some specific questions about his POV, and also challenged some of his assertions about the article about the old lady. Which he returned with unwarranted snark, and then blew a gasket. Eddie is/was not a radical right propagandist; you are. Don't try to hide behind Eddie in justifying the unjustifiable. No one here suffers from the "inability to comprehend [your] posts." They simply disagree, which true believers find intolerable.

I'll let RE deal with the fact that you've called us both stupid. those scoring at home will find that risible. I find you to be a slow learner.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline RE

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Re: 🎓 Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2018: Doing the Math
« Reply #138 on: May 08, 2019, 10:46:57 AM »
I don't see an answer to that question in here. What would you do about existing student loan borrowers

Oh good grief.  Obviously, to do such a system, all the debt has to be repudiated.  It's going to happen anyhow with the crash of the monetary system.

Quote
If you agree with that, then all of your radical right accusations just stem from your inability to comprehend our posts.

Calling me stupid by couching it in a conditional is a violation of the CoC.  I felt generous and left this one up.  Here's my conditional.  If you do it again, I'll give you a month in the cooler.

RE
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Offline Ashvin

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Re: 🎓 Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2018: Doing the Math
« Reply #139 on: May 08, 2019, 04:36:58 PM »
I don't see an answer to that question in here. What would you do about existing student loan borrowers

Oh good grief.  Obviously, to do such a system, all the debt has to be repudiated.  It's going to happen anyhow with the crash of the monetary system.

Ok, so your a leftist who wants to bail out all manner of middle to high upper class people, including doctors and lawyers. Good to know that your views are just as contradictory as Surly.

Quote
If you agree with that, then all of your radical right accusations just stem from your inability to comprehend our posts.

Calling me stupid by couching it in a conditional is a violation of the CoC.  I felt generous and left this one up.  Here's my conditional.  If you do it again, I'll give you a month in the cooler.

RE
[/quote]

So it's a violation to say I believe that you are not comprehending my posts. In what crazy PC authoritarian world does that equate to calling you stupid? This forum has become even more fragile and oversensitive than the most liberal publications or forums.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 04:45:09 PM by Ashvin »

Offline Ashvin

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Re: 🎓 Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2018: Doing the Math
« Reply #140 on: May 08, 2019, 04:40:50 PM »

You and Surly started alleging that Eddie and I were promoting a "radical right" perspective on this issue, just because we don't think everyone who has a student loan should be given relief (especially the doctors and lawyers). If you agree with that, then all of your radical right accusations just stem from your inability to comprehend our posts.

This is patently untrue. I asked Eddie some specific questions about his POV, and also challenged some of his assertions about the article about the old lady. Which he returned with unwarranted snark, and then blew a gasket. Eddie is/was not a radical right propagandist; you are. Don't try to hide behind Eddie in justifying the unjustifiable. No one here suffers from the "inability to comprehend [your] posts." They simply disagree, which true believers find intolerable.

I'll let RE deal with the fact that you've called us both stupid. those scoring at home will find that risible. I find you to be a slow learner.

Surly, you cant point to one damn thing I've said that makes me radical right. Unless of course you consider anyone to the left of you (radical left) as radical right, which I know you do.

You jumped in with those accusations after I said respecting personal obligations is important. If you consider that radical right sentiment, you have 100% disconnected from any reasonable political discourse. Another thing I already knew about you.

Also, Eddie seems to have quit because of YOUR constant accusations without warrant and without any reasonable arguments or evidence. So dont act like you weren't unfairly pigeon holing him like you are me.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 04:43:30 PM by Ashvin »

Offline RE

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Re: 🎓 Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2018: Doing the Math
« Reply #141 on: May 08, 2019, 04:57:08 PM »
I don't see an answer to that question in here. What would you do about existing student loan borrowers

Oh good grief.  Obviously, to do such a system, all the debt has to be repudiated.  It's going to happen anyhow with the crash of the monetary system.

Ok, so your a leftist who wants to bail out all manner of middle to high upper class people, including doctors and lawyers. Good to know that your views are just as contradictory as Surly.

It's not contradictory.  The problem is generational.  It's not OLD doctors or lawyers who would be receiving the det relief, it's the recent grads.  The OLD doctors and lawyers making gobs of money would be taxed to beat the band to pay for that.

Quote
Quote
If you agree with that, then all of your radical right accusations just stem from your inability to comprehend our posts.

Calling me stupid by couching it in a conditional is a violation of the CoC.  I felt generous and left this one up.  Here's my conditional.  If you do it again, I'll give you a month in the cooler.

RE

Quote
So it's a violation to say I believe that you are not comprehending my posts. In what crazy PC authoritarian world does that equate to calling you stupid? This forum has become even more fragile and oversensitive than the most liberal publications or forums.

"Not comprehending" is a polite substitute for "stupid".  I comprehend just fine.  You are the one who has trouble here with comprehending the CoC rules and CFS.  If you violate the CoC, I'll bring down the hammer on you, it's that simple.  Try to process that, it shouldn't be that hard.

RE
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Offline Ashvin

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Re: 🎓 Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2018: Doing the Math
« Reply #142 on: May 08, 2019, 05:08:17 PM »
I don't see an answer to that question in here. What would you do about existing student loan borrowers

Oh good grief.  Obviously, to do such a system, all the debt has to be repudiated.  It's going to happen anyhow with the crash of the monetary system.

Ok, so your a leftist who wants to bail out all manner of middle to high upper class people, including doctors and lawyers. Good to know that your views are just as contradictory as Surly.

It's not contradictory.  The problem is generational.  It's not OLD doctors or lawyers who would be receiving the det relief, it's the recent grads.  The OLD doctors and lawyers making gobs of money would be taxed to beat the band to pay for that.


It would be doctors and lawyers in their 30s making upwards of 250k, among others. A whole bunch of people who could afford to pay back the loans over time. People you would otherwise target as worthy of torture in an Orkin Man scenario. Contradictory for sure.

Quote
Quote
If you agree with that, then all of your radical right accusations just stem from your inability to comprehend our posts.

Calling me stupid by couching it in a conditional is a violation of the CoC.  I felt generous and left this one up.  Here's my conditional.  If you do it again, I'll give you a month in the cooler.

RE

Quote
Quote
So it's a violation to say I believe that you are not comprehending my posts. In what crazy PC authoritarian world does that equate to calling you stupid? This forum has become even more fragile and oversensitive than the most liberal publications or forums.

"Not comprehending" is a polite substitute for "stupid".  I comprehend just fine.  You are the one who has trouble here with comprehending the CoC rules and CFS.  If you violate the CoC, I'll bring down the hammer on you, it's that simple.  Try to process that, it shouldn't be that hard.

RE

Of course its NOT a substitute. You may not comprehend a post for a whole host of reasons,  other than being stupid, including the posters lack of clarity. Furthermore, not comprehending one or two posts doesn't mean you cant comprehend posts in general. Its guaranteed that everyone here wont comprehend a post from time to time.

So no, it's not at all the same as calling someone stupid.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 05:10:30 PM by Ashvin »

Offline RE

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Re: 🎓 Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2018: Doing the Math
« Reply #143 on: May 08, 2019, 05:11:17 PM »
Also, Eddie seems to have quit because of YOUR constant accusations without warrant and without any reasonable arguments or evidence.

No, Eddie went walkabout because I axed one of his posts which violated the CoC.  A specific term I warned him about using before that.  It was displaying contempt for the CoC.  So down came the Hammer.

RE
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Offline RE

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Re: 🎓 Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2018: Doing the Math
« Reply #144 on: May 08, 2019, 05:19:00 PM »

It would be doctors and lawyers in their 30s making upwards of 250k, among others. A whole bunch of people who could afford to pay back the loans over time. People you would otherwise target as worthy of torture in an Orkin Man scenario.

Complete bullshit.  Their income is sucked up paying the debt they accrued.  The debt should be repudiated and their incomes reduced accordingly.  These are also not people targeted for "torture".  That is reserved for really BIG Pigmen who have commited Crimes Against Humanity, and only after a Trial under rule of law in the Court of the Inquisition.

Quote
Of course its NOT a substitute. You may not comprehend a post for a whole host of reasons,  other than being stupid, including the posters lack of clarity. Furthermore, not comprehending one or two posts doesn't mean you cant comprehend posts in general. Its guaranteed that everyone here wont comprehend a post from time to time.

Here on the Diner, it is.  Both Surly and I got the same impression from it, and so do the other readers.  So, don't use such language, or down comes the Hammer.  Can I be any more clear here?

RE
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🎓 The State of the American Debt Slaves, Q1 2019
« Reply #145 on: May 09, 2019, 03:56:07 AM »
https://wolfstreet.com/2019/05/08/the-state-of-the-american-debt-slaves-q1-2019/


The State of the American Debt Slaves, Q1 2019


The State of the American Debt Slaves, Q1 2019

It’s a tough job, but someone’s doing it.

Consumer debt – or consumer “credit” more euphemistically – includes auto loans, student loans, credit-card debt, and personal loans, but it excludes housing related debt, such as mortgages and HELOCs. Growing consumer debt helps prop up the US economy because it means that consumers – they’re called “consumers” not “people” for a reason – spend money they don’t have. There is always a reckoning in the future, but to heck with the future, and so here we go.

Revolving credit

Credit card debt and other revolving credit, such as personal lines of credit, in Q1 rose 3.4% compared to Q1 last year, to $1.0 trillion (not seasonally adjusted), according to the Federal Reserve Tuesday afternoon. This was a record for a first quarter, when consumers cut back while they try to dig themselves out from under their shopping season debts. But it wasn’t good enough. Credit card balances in Q1 were flat with Q4 2008, despite a decade of inflation, population growth, and economic growth. Our debt slaves are lackadaisical:

The thing is, over the same period, nominal GDP rose 5.1%. And in terms of GDP, credit card debts actually fell, which explains the soft-ish retail data in the first quarter. In a very un-American way, consumers were again lackadaisical in charging up their credit cards to the max.

Credit cards are a key element in the banking industry’s profits. At commercial banks, the average interest rate on credit-card plans is 15.1% and the average assessed interest rate is 16.9%, on $1 trillion in outstanding credit balances. This amounts to around $150 billion to $169 billion a year in interest income! These banks rely on consumers to spend money they don’t have. So why don’t they consume with sufficient energy?  That’s a baffling question for economists.

Auto loans and leases

Total auto loans and leases outstanding for new and used vehicles in Q1 rose by $44.5 billion from a year ago, or by 4.0%, to a record of $1.16 trillion, despite new-vehicle sales that declined in Q1 by 3.2%, though there was some strength in used vehicles sales. The increase in borrowing was due to higher transaction prices of new and used vehicles, the rising average loan-to-value ratio, and the lengthening average duration of loans:

The green line in the chart above is a reminder that this type of data gets revised as new data becomes available. In September 2017, the Federal Reserve adjusted its data of consumer credit back to Q3 2015, based on the new five-year Census survey, and auto loans got the bulk of the revisions. The green line shows that the car business didn’t collapse in Q3 2015 but that the drop in outstanding auto loans was due to a revision.

The student-loan economy

Student loans rose by 4.9% year-over-year in Q1, or by $74 billion, to a new record of $1.6 trillion (not seasonally adjusted). It has doubled since the beginning of 2010. Confusingly, enrollment in higher-education, based on the latest data available from the National Center for Education Statistics fell by 7% between 2010 and 2016.

In other words, fewer students are enrolled, but all combined they borrow more as tuition continues to rise, and as the entire industry feeds on those government-guaranteed student loans. This ranges from device makers, such as Apple, text-book publishers, concert-ticket sellers, and commercial real estate investors specializing in student housing. Every dime a student borrows is spent, and it props up Corporate America, the university financial complex (UFI, my term), and the US economy overall – with heck to pay later:

All three forms of non-housing consumer debt combined – revolving credit, auto loans, and student loans — rose by a respectable $191 billion in Q1 from a year ago to $4.0 trillion, carried by surging student loans and auto loans:

Every dime of this $191 billion in new debt was plowed into consumption, and therefore into GDP. This increase in consumer debt over the 12 months added nearly 1% to GDP, and that’s why consumers have to spend money they don’t have. It’s their job. Everyone depends on them. The other side of the coin is that these debt slaves now owe $4 trillion that they must pay interest and principal on for all times to come. And inflation won’t help them because rising inflation will cause these rates to rise, and our debt slaves will just have to work that much harder to deal with their debts.

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Offline RE

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🎓 Liz Warren gets Thumbs Up to cancel Student Debt
« Reply #146 on: May 09, 2019, 02:18:46 PM »
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/09/elizabeth-warrens-plan-to-cancel-student-debt-popular-with-voters.html

Elizabeth Warren's plan to cancel student debt is popular with voters, survey finds

    In a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 56% of registered voters say they support the Massachusetts senator's proposal to wipe out $640 billion in outstanding education loans by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
    Just 27% of voters say they oppose the plan.
    Even among voters who've never had student loans, support for Warren's proposal is high.

Annie Nova   | @AnnieReporter
Published 4 Hours Ago Updated 1 Hour Ago CNBC.com
      
   
2020 Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren participates in the She the People Presidential Forum in Houston, Texas, April 24, 2019.
Loren Elliott | Reuters

]The majority of American voters give a thumbs up to Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren's plan to cancel student debt.

In a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 56% of registered voters said they support the Massachusetts senator's proposal to wipe out $640 billion in outstanding education loans by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Just 27% of voters said they opposed the plan.

The poll was conducted between May 3 and May 6 and included 1,990 registered voters. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Nearly 45 million Americans hold student loans today, and education debt has surpassed credit card or auto debt.

Warren is the only presidential candidate to issue a detailed plan on student debt forgiveness. Under it, borrowers with household incomes under $100,000 would have $50,000 of their student debt canceled, and those who earn $100,000 to $250,000 would be eligible for relief on a sliding scale.

"My broad cancellation plan is a real solution to our student debt crisis," Warren wrote on Medium last month. "It helps millions of families and removes a weight that's holding back our economy."


Women were more likely (37%) than men (31%) to "strongly support" the proposal. Nearly two-thirds of the country's outstanding student loan debt is held by women, due, in part, to the wage gap, which makes it harder for women to pay off their debt as quickly as men.

The plan is not just popular among young voters. In fact, 52% of people aged 18 to 29 "strongly support" the debt cancellation plan, compared with 60% of those aged 45 to 54. Student debt has been rising quickly among older people, as repayment timelines drag on and parent borrowing increases.

Voters who make under $50,000 a year were more likely (59%) to support the plan than those who earned over $100,000 (47%).

While more than half of Democratic voters strongly support the plan, just 17% of Republicans do.

Overall, even 52% of voters who've never taken out student loans approve of Warren's proposal. Though among people who currently have student debt, that support rises to 75%.
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Offline Surly1

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Re: Subprime Student Loans Redux
« Reply #147 on: May 09, 2019, 06:19:48 PM »
Hey! It's not just for old ladies having their SSI garnished anymore! Let the kids suffer, too, and find out how this country treats debtors!

Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

Students who owe lunch money in Rhode Island district will get jelly sandwiches until debt is paid
Warwick Public Schools, which has more than 9,000 students, said the district-wide policy will go into effect on May 13.


By Elisha Fieldstadt

Students at a Rhode Island school district who owe money on their lunch accounts will have the sole option of a sunflower butter and jelly sandwich until they are able to pay their balances, the district announced Sunday.

Warwick Public Schools, which has more than 9,000 pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, said the district-wide policy will go into effect on May 13.

"If money is owed on a paid, free, or reduced lunch account a sun butter and jelly sandwich will be given as the lunch choice until the balance owed is paid in full or a payment plan is set up," said a postfrom the district on Facebook.

Warwick School Committee chairwoman Karen Bachus told NBC News that the sandwiches are served with the vegetable of the day, a fruit and milk.

Public schools in Rhode Island are mandated by state law to provide lunches to students.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics

Nearly 70 percent of school lunches in Rhode Island are served for free or at a reduced price based on family income, according to the state. But some parents who commented on the announcement from Warwick Public Schools said even though they qualify for free lunches, their children still owed money because they had added something to their trays that wasn't included with the free lunch, like extra milk.

Other parents noted that the policy of giving out jelly sandwiches to students who owed money would likely leave those children embarrassed and prone to bullying. "This is absolutely awful. Our schools shouldn't be in the business of shaming children," one person wrote beneath the Facebook announcement.

"Just give the kids lunch. ... we cant spring for a chicken patty for a hungry kid? What if this is their only meal of the day?" another commenter to the post asked.

The sunflower butter and jelly sandwich is an option on the regular lunch menu that many students opt for anyway, Bachus said.

"Before we used to give a cheese sandwich which did single them out, but now we've gone with an on-the-menu meal," she said. "So what's wrong with that?"

Bachus said that the district implemented the new policy because it is owed more than $78,000 on account of outstanding lunch payments. She said more than 1,600 students in the district of 8,700 owe money.

"We have sent out letters and certified letters to every family," Bachus said. "All they have to do is contact us to try to work it out."

The issue is not specific to Warwick. More that 75 percent of schools reported that they were owed money for lunches at the end of the 2016/2017 school year, according to the non-profit School Nutrition Association. And 40 percent of schools reported that the amount of students without adequate funds to pay for lunch had increased during the same school year.

The association said that schools found they were able to help parents and students by allowing them to pay outstanding funds online, reminding them about low balances and taking advantage of charitable donations.

Warwick Public Schools, meanwhile, refused a $4,000 donation offered to them from a local restaurant owner, Angelica Penta. "I have met with Warwick twice and the second time I left in tears after they refused to take a $4,000 check," she wrote on Facebook.

Penta raised the money by setting up a donation jar at her restaurant, Gel’s Kitchen.

The district said in a statement that it didn't take the donation because they didn't want to be responsible for allotting which students the money benefited. "Each time these offers were made, Warwick Public Schools stated that the school department was not in the position to single out or identify specific students that should be selected for a reduction in their lunch debt while excluding others," the statement said, according to NBC affiliate WJAR.

A statement released by the district Wednesday said they are working with attorneys to "ensure that we accept donations in compliance with the law and that the donations are applied in an equitable manner."

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: Subprime Student Loans Redux
« Reply #148 on: May 09, 2019, 06:26:47 PM »
Hey! It's not just for old ladies having their SSI garnished anymore! Let the kids suffer, too, and find out how this country treats debtors!

Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/gIi7kb3NFyY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/gIi7kb3NFyY</a>

RE
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Doesn't that Hot Food look YUMMY?  mmmm...  ::)

RE

https://www.npr.org/2019/05/10/722259141/after-backlash-rhode-island-school-district-rolls-back-lunch-shaming-policy

After Backlash, Rhode Island School District Rolls Back 'Lunch Shaming' Policy

May 10, 20196:26 PM ET
Vanessa Romo


Students in New York fill their lunch trays with hot food. In Rhode Island, a controversy over a plan to limit children to cold sandwiches if they had outstanding lunch balances was quickly reversed this week.
Mary Esch/AP

Fundraising efforts to spare kids from from lunchtime humiliation in a Rhode Island school district have resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in donations over a couple of days, including nearly $50,000 by New York-based yogurt-maker Chobani.

On Sunday, Warwick Public Schools, a small school district facing approximately $77,000 in overdue lunch fees this year, curtly announced plans to implement a new policy that would ban students with outstanding balances from choosing from the cafeteria's hot meals. Instead, it would limit children to "sun butter and jelly" sandwiches until the debt was repaid or a payment plan established.

The change was set to take effect on May 13, but immediate outrage on Facebook and national media attention prompted officials to reverse the decision just one day later.

In a Facebook post, Karen Bachus, chairwoman of the Warwick School Committee, said that "after careful review and consideration" the committee recommended "allow[ing] the students their choice of lunch regardless of their account status."

She also stressed that a vast majority of the debt — 72% — is from students who are not enrolled in the National School Lunch Program. She added that as of the announcement, about $14,000 had been collected from outstanding balances. Bachus also detailed the monthlong process by which the district seeks to collect payment from parents — a process that involves sending multiple letters home over 90 days.

"As a parent, news of Warwick Public Schools breaks my heart," Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya said in a tweet. "No child should be facing anything like this."
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"We need to step up. We'll take care of this school's bill ... but we need everyone around the country to eliminate this" problem forever, he said, adding a call for other companies to help ensure every child has access to "natural, nutritious and delicious food."

The company donated $47,650, the Providence Journal reported.

Additionally, the newspaper said, "Multiple GoFundMe fundraising pages have also been launched, with balances around $40,000."
Schools Will Soon Have To Put In Writing If They 'Lunch Shame'
NPR Ed
Schools Will Soon Have To Put In Writing If They 'Lunch Shame'
Lawmaker's Childhood Experience Drives New Mexico's 'Lunch Shaming' Ban
The Salt
Lawmaker's Childhood Experience Drives New Mexico's 'Lunch Shaming' Ban

The controversy has fueled a national conversation about mounting school lunch debts and the practice of "lunch shaming" in public schools. Policies across school districts have varied drastically. Some routinely throw away lunches when students can't afford to pay for them; some prohibit access to hot food; some stamp the hands of children whose parents are in arrears; and still others make children work to pay off their guardian's debts.

In an attempt to provide some clarity and prevent children from public shame, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the federal school meal program, mandated that all districts put their policies in writing and communicate them to staff, parents and the community at the start of the school year. The agency stopped short of barring some of the most embarrassing practices but did encourage districts to find alternative solutions for working with adults in addressing delinquent accounts.

The USDA provides free and reduced-price lunches to approximately 30.4 million children, but Michael Crudale, executive director of human resources at the neighboring Cranston Public Schools, said he suspects thousands if not millions more children would qualify if they applied.

Cranston Public Schools came under fire late last year after announcing a plan to send unpaid lunch bills to a collection agency.

"There was a lot of backlash ... but over the last few years, student lunch debt has nearly doubled," Crudale told NPR. In the three years he has worked for the district, the annual size of the debt "has gone from about $50,000 to $90,000, which is where we are now" and is likely to reach $100,000 by the end of the year, he said.

Crudale emphasized that the district's new strategy is a "soft approach" and the collections accounts have no impact on credit scores or other unintentional adverse effects. He also said the letters have boosted enrollment numbers in the federal free and reduced-lunch program because an application is attached to each notice.

"We do a big push for the program at the beginning of the year, but a lot of people don't get their forms in. By sending this form with the letter we have seen an increase, and that's good," he said.
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