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Metro School Changes - Free Programs for Students -- Erika Kurre

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Nashville, TN - Metro students return to school tomorrow and two huge things will now be free.

For the first time, metro students won't have to worry about bringing their lunch money!   

And that's not all. 

Getting to school and after-school activities will soon be easier than ever.

The metro high schoolers will be able to board one of the MTA buses.

All they need is their high school ID.
   
That's more than 20,000 new riders, thanks to a partnership with the city.

Teens in grades 9-12 won't only get free bus passes, they're among all children in Metro Nashville Public Schools who will get free breakfasts and lunches too.

Spokesperson Olivia Brown says 73-percent of metro's students already qualify for meal assistance.

But in several metro schools, the majority of children were paying anyway.

This is the first year of a four-year grant through the USDA when the school system will be reimbursed for the expense.
   
This means all 85,000 metro school students will have breakfasts and lunches provided to them at no cost.

Also, with free bus passes, high schoolers will be getting a leg up.

The idea is they'll be able to commit to internships, extracurricular activities and dual enrollment at community colleges without transportation as an obstacle.

The bus passes will be issued as part of the student ID's.
   
The program is expected to go into effect by next month.