The regular price for school lunches in Washington County increased in April to $1.80 for elementary lunch and $2.05 for secondary lunch. Each was a 10-cent increase.
According to information released by the state department, household size and income are the most common ways to determine eligibility for free and reduced-price meals.
Under the new guidelines, a child from a family of two is eligible for free meals if the household's income is less than $13,273 annually, and for reduced-price meals if it is less than $25,327, state officials said. A child from a family of three is eligible for free meals if the household's income is $22,321 or less, and for reduced-price meals if it is less than $38,203.
Officials said a child from a family of four qualifies for free school meals if the household's income is less than $26,845. If the family's income is less than $38,203, the child qualifies for reduced-price meals.
For each additional family member, add $4,524 to the maximum income allowed to qualify for free meals, and $6,438 to the amount for reduced-price meals, state officials said.
"For us, it doesn't really increase our free and reduced-price (meals) numbers," Dodds said. "The same people who were eligible last year will be eligible this year, with a few variations. This doesn't play a big part in the increase of the free and reduced numbers."
State officials said schools will notify parents/guardians that their children qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
By the numbers
The percentage of Washington County Public Schools students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals:
· 2000-01 - 27.5
· 2001-02 - 30.6
· 2002-03 - 31.3
· 2003-04 - 32.8
· 2004-05 - 34.5
· 2005-06 - 35
· 2006-07 - 36