BALTIMORE — Baltimore’s move to join a universal free lunch program has had the unintended consequence of costing cost some of the city’s high-poverty schools hundreds of thousands of dollars in other federal funding.

The Baltimore Sun reports those losses have prompted principals to cut staff and programs in some cases.

The reason the schools lost money is because the district was required to change the way it counts poor students in order to join the lunch program.

To be counted now, a family must participate in federal public assistance programs, such as food stamps. According to the newspaper, the system tends to undercount children from immigrant families.

District officials say they’ve been trying to make up for the discrepancies, and the State Board of Education is working on a uniform way to determine school poverty rates.

Information from: The Baltimore Sun,

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