Detroit Public Schools is encouraging all low-income parents to submit a crucial survey to their child’s school by September 30, in order to preserve millions of dollars in funding that provides valuable tutoring, technology, transportation and other services to qualified students.
About 88 percent of the district’s students qualify for supplemental services due to income, but only 59 percent have completed the surveys and turned them in.
Every student in the district now receives free breakfast, lunch and snacks, regardless of income under the new federal Community Eligibility Option pilot program. Low-income families no longer need to fill out Meal Benefit Application forms in order to get meals, but DPS is still requesting that families complete a Supplemental Student Services Survey to ensure that children, schools and the district will continue to receive millions of dollars in benefits and resources from the state and federal governments, as well as private grants.
The form was sent home to all qualifying families in August and must be submitted to students’ schools by Friday, September 30. The form is available at every school and online at detroitk12.org/
Among the benefits and services that are still dependent on the district collecting income data are:
- Free tutoring and afterschool programs
- Extra teacher aides and other specialized staff for classrooms
- Classroom technology, such as computers, white boards and the Internet
- DOT bus cards and other transportation assistance
- Free summer school and summer enrichment programs
- Free college testing services and waiver of college application fees
- Field trips, field days and other academic enrichment activities
- Parent involvement and LSCO funding
- Career and technical education opportunities
The Meal Benefit Application is no longer collected because DPS is participating in the Community Eligibility Option, a federal program that allows every student in the district to receive free breakfast, lunch and snacks, regardless of income.
The initiative is among the early reforms enacted under President Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which authorized the USDA to select up to three states to test the option in School Year 2011-12. Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan were ultimately selected to roll out the pilot program. Schools and districts in Michigan may participate if at least 40 percent of their students are entitled to public assistance.