Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch
What does this measure?
The number of students eligible for free or reduced price school lunches as a percentage of all students in full day prekindergarten through 12th grade. Students are eligible for free lunch if their family's income is at or below 130% of the national poverty level.
Why is this important?
This measure not only shows the proportion of low–income students and families in an area, it is also an indication of the potential challenges facing schools as they work to educate children who have fewer resources.
How are Cayuga and Seneca counties performing?
The percentage of students eligible for free or reduced price school lunches was 35% in Cayuga County and 40% in Seneca County in 2010. Both counties’ rates were above the state (excluding NYC) rate of 33%. Among comparison counties, Oswego had the highest rate (44%) and Ontario had the lowest (27%). All counties experienced increases from 2005 to 2010, ranging from 2 percentage points in Ontario to 7 points in Cayuga. This mirrors a 4–point increase at the state level.
Notes about the data
Not all students who are eligible for free or reduced priced lunch participate in the program.