The percentage of public school students eligible for free or reduced-price school meals went up seven-tenths of a percentage point to 43.2 percent in the 2012-13 school year, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).
State Superintendent Tony Evers says school meal eligibility is a measure of childhood poverty. In Wisconsin, 36.9 percent of public school students are from families whose family income is less than $30,000 per year. Another 6.3 percent of students in Wisconsin are eligible for reduced-price meals.
"Offering school meals through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs is one way to impact the negative effects of poverty and combat hunger in our schools," Evers said.
The Department of Public Instruction released a spreadsheet of all of the public school districts of free and reduced-price meal data.
The School District of La Crosse saw a .9% decrease, from 49.2% in 2011-12 to 48.3% in 2012-13.
The School District of Onalaska saw a 7.7% increase, from 26.3% in 2011-12 to 34% in 2012-13.
The School District of Holmen saw a .8% increase, from 27.1% in 2011-12 to 28% in 2012-13.
The West Salem School District saw a .1% decrease, from 27% in 2011-12 to 26.9% in 2012-13.
The Sparta Area School District saw a 4.8% increase, from 46.5% in 2011-12 to 51.3% in 2012-13.
The Tomah Area School District saw a 1.6% increase, from 39.5% in 2011-12 to 41.2% in 2012-13.
Click here to see more stats from school districts from western Wisconsin and across the state. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction also released a YouTube video, showing the increase in poverty rates among Wisconsin's K-12 students.