3/20/12 – For an eighth year in a row, more students meet the income requirements to get a free or reduced-price meal in Wisconsin public schools. The state Department of Public Instruction reports 42-point-5 percent of school-aged children are eligible in the current school year. Locally, the Beaver Dam School District actually saw a drop in its numbers. Statistics show that 40-percent of the district’s students are eligible, down four-percent from last school year. Numbers were also down in several others districts, including Cambria-Friesland and Dodgeland. The biggest jump was in Fall River where five-percent more students are eligible, though they still have a modest overall rate of 37-percent. Slight increases were also seen in Horicon – Mayville – Watertown and Waupun. Statewide, more than 353 thousand students were identified, an increase of 71 hundred over last school year. The state superintendent says the figures show Wisconsin families are hurting economically.