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Universal free lunch is linked to better test scores in New York City, new report finds []


Offering all students free lunch helps boost academic performance, a new report, which looked at meal programs in New York City middle schools, shows.  

The study, out of Syracuse University’s Center for Policy Research, assessed the impact of universal free lunch on students who previously didn’t have access to such a meals program. 

Researchers found “statistically significant” bumps in reading and math state test scores once students attended schools with universal free lunch. One way to understand those score bumps: They were equivalent to 6-10 weeks of learning for students who did not qualify or sign up for free and reduced price lunch and about half of that for students who were part of the lunch program, the paper said.   

“I think that is the big takeaway — that if we make lunch free, kids do better in school,” said Amy Ellen Schwartz, who co-wrote the paper, published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 

[To read the rest of this article by Reema Amin, click here.]

[Photo: Christina Veiga/Chalkbeat]


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