Leesa, a human services student, comes from a family of teachers and follows news about education closely. She recently read about incidents in which children whose parents/guardians have fallen behind on paying for their school lunches have been told, while in the meal line, that they cannot have any food. The public reaction is very intense and almost exclusively negative, so she is surprised to learn that a state legislator has recently introduced a bill that permits cafeteria workers to refuse to feed children and also requires them to do so when the unpaid balance reaches the price equivalent of 20 meals. Leesa wonders how it is possible for policymakers to believe that this is a good solution to the problem of children’s unpaid lunch bills.It is sometimes the case that helping professionals and members of the general public get involved in issues related to social welfare policy when something happens that outrages them, like children being denied lunch. Suppose you are Leesa and you are genuinely upset by the proposed policy. Answer the following questions:
- How do you think policy analysis would be helpful to you?
- How could you use critical theory to understand the proposed policy requiring that children not receive lunch when their unpaid balance reaches the price equivalent of 20 meals?
- Propose and justify a policy that states what should be done when students’ families fail to pay for the students’ meals.