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Schachtner defeats Jarchow in special election

Nearly 40 percent of elementary students qualify for free or reduced lunch prices

Almost four of every 10 elementary students in Wisconsin qualified for government lunch subsidies in the last school year.

And as job losses continue, state Supt. Tony Evers says the number of low-income students will keep growing for another year or two.

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism said almost 38 percent of the state's elementary youngsters qualified for free or reduced price school lunches last year, up from 30 percent the year before.

There are more than160,000 low-income elementary students in Wisconsin, and 132,000 secondary students.

The center found that over 90 percent of the growth in low-income students since 2000 came from outside Milwaukee.

Green Bay had the largest increase, with around 2,400.

The numbers of low-income students doubled in 47 Wisconsin school districts. Families of four making less than $28,000 a year qualify for free school lunches. Those same families making less than $40,000 qualify for reduced-prized lunches.