Will Banneker ever be eligible for Title I funding again?


Over the years, most Banneker students have never had to worry about paying for breakfast, lunch, and after-school snacks.

The first class that has experienced this is the Class of 2023, back when they were freshmen, in 2019. The second half of the school year was ruined by Covid-19 so no one had to worry about paying for food.

Now that school is back in full effect, students are hit with the surprise of paying for meals at school. During the first year back from Covid-19, Banneker received Title I and pandemic funding, which covered the cost of meals and family engagement activities.

For schools to be eligible for Title I funding, 35% or more of the students have to qualify for free or reduced lunch.

That is not the case at Banneker, who DCPS reports at 34.04%, as of October 2022.

So, since the school is not eligible and doesn’t receive these funds, students whose parents’ incomes are above a certain amount, depending on how many people live in the household, have to pay $3 for each meal.

The Journalism class created a survey to see how this change is affecting students.

The results are shown below and above:

Nearly 60% of students are affected by the change of meals, saying that it affects how they perform in after-school activities.

Nearly 50% of students report being hungry or sometimes hungry because the cost of lunch discourages them from eating.

Banneker’s administration is currently seeking additional information on eligibility requirements for Title I funding.