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Connecticut Post: Number of CT students eligible for free and reduced lunch rises again

Alex Putterman, Connecticut Post

March 03, 2023 - less than 1 minute

The number of Connecticut students eligible for free and reduced-price lunches increased by 4 percent this year, state data shows, an indication of growing need for children and families in the state.

According to official numbers used for calculating school funding, Connecticut had 202,571 students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch in October 2022, up more than 8,000 from the prior year. Additionally, Connecticut saw a 10 percent spike in English learners, even as the total number of students in the state dropped slightly.

In both categories, most of the increases came in Connecticut's largest cities, according to analysis from the nonprofit School + State Finance Project. Lisa Hammersley, the group's executive director, said the new data underscores a need to boost education funding during the current legislative session.

"We think it definitely reinforces the need for the state to invest in K-12 education," Hammersley said. "When you have changing student demographics that reflect that student need is increasing, the state obviously needs to step in and invest."

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