Prepared by Dallas D. Dotter, Mathematica Policy Research, this paper was originally presented at the 2013 Fall Research Conference in the session Exploring the Impact of School Breakfast Policy. It is now featured in APPAM's Online Paper Collection.
Between 12 and 30 percent of school-aged children reportedly skip breakfast on a given weekday. To mitigate any impacts on health and academic performance, many schools implement universally free breakfast programs for students. This paper exploits the staggered implementation of an in-classroom breakfast program in San Diego elementary schools, which provides meals to all students during class time, to determine the impacts of universally free school breakfasts on student attendance rates, classroom behavior and academic performance.
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