How do you think policy analysis would be helpful to you?
Leesa, a social work student, comes from a family of teachers and, as a result, tends to follow news about education closely. She has been aware of incidents in which children whose parents/guardians have fallen behind on paying for their school lunches have been told, while in the meal line, that they cannot have any food. The public outcry is typically quite intense and almost exclusively negative, so she is surprised to learn that a state legislator has recently introduced a bill that not only permits cafeteria workers to refuse to feed children but goes further and requires them to do so when the unpaid balance reaches the price equivalent of 20 meals. Leesa wonders how it is possible for policy makers to believe that this is a good solution to the problem of children’s unpaid lunch bills.
It is sometimes the case that social workers and members of the general public get involved in issues related to social welfare policy when something happens that outrages them, like children being denied lunch. Suppose you are Leesa and you are genuinely upset by the proposed policy. How do you think policy analysis would be helpful to you?
Critical analysis offers a theoretical framework through which policies and the policy-making process can be understood. How could you use critical theory to understand the proposed policy requiring that children not receive lunch when their unpaid balance reaches the price equivalent of 20 meals?
Propose and justify a policy regarding what should be done when students’ families fail to pay for the students’ meals.