Student poverty increases in Wisconsin schools

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The percentage of Wisconsin public school students in poverty continues to increase.

The Department of Public Instruction reports Wednesday that 43.3 percent of students were receiving free or reduced price lunches this school year. That is up by 625 students, or 0.1 percent, from the previous year.

That is 13.8 percent higher than a decade ago.

There are 359,400 public school students who are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals in the state.

To qualify for a free lunch, students' families can't earn more than 130 percent of federal poverty, or $30,615 for a family of four. Reduced-price lunches are available to students from families earning up to 185 percent of poverty, or $43,568 for a family of four.

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