New report shows poverty rates rising across the state - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

New report shows poverty rates rising across the state

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Eau Claire (WQOW)- A new report from the state's Department of Public Instruction shows that nearly half of Wisconsin's students are eligible for free and  reduced priced meals.

The report says more than 43 percent of the students are eligible for the program, which also is a measure of poverty in the districts.  That's only up slightly from last year, but a few school districts in the area saw significant changes.

The Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls School Districts saw their free and reduced priced meals go up more than one percent.  Durand saw nearly a seven percent drop in its program enrollment numbers.  But the biggest moves in our area were Gilmanton and Prairie Farm.  Gilmanton saw a 12 percent jump while prairie farm was able to decrease its numbers by more than 13 percent.  Both school districts say there wasn't a significant event responsible for the change.  Because of low enrollment numbers in those rural areas, it could be as simple as a few low-income families moving into and out of the districts. 

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