West Virginia - Unpaid meal charge policy--supports students: Program requirement

Program Requirement
Policy Type: 

State law establishes a policy regarding unpaid meal charges that prohibits shaming and/or denying meals.

Code of State Rules 126-85-87. Collection Procedures

57.1 A procedure to collect payments from students for meals must be established.  The procedure must prevent the overt identification of students receiving free or reduced price meals and enable schools to obtain an accurate daily count of the number of free, reduced price, fully paid and adult meals served under the school lunch and breakfast programs.  The collection procedure shall be approved by WVDE.  The procedure is reviewed along with the county application for program benefits.  Suggested methods of collection may be found in the Policy Statement.  Any variation in the suggested methods must be submitted in detail to WVDE for approval prior to implementation.

Code of State Rules 126-86-14. Rewards and Penalties

14.1 Counties are prohibited from penalizing students due to unpaid and/or outstanding meal debt. This includes, but is not limited to denial of meals, prohibition of participating in extra-curricular activities, the denial of participation in graduation, and/or the refusal of transcript requests. Students shall not be denied a meal or served an alternative meal as a result of unpaid meal debt. All communication addressing financial matters shall be directed to parents/guardians. Practices, including but not limited to, putting stickers or wristbands on children to remind parents/guardians to pay unpaid fees are prohibited. Schools are prohibited from identifying or stigmatizing students with meal debt or require them to complete chores or work in exchange for meals.

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