Community Eligibility

Report
The Community Eligibility Option
Webinar: June 6, 2012
10:00am – 11:30am EDT
Webinar Outline
 Overview
 School Eligibility Requirements
 Non-Federal Funding Sources
 Procedures
 Evaluation
 Walk through of Estimator
 Questions
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Overview
 Option provides an alternative to household applications for free
and reduced price meals in high poverty local educational agencies
(LEAs) and schools.
 LEA or schools electing the Option agree to serve all students free
lunches and breakfasts for four successive school years.
 Meal program claims are based on the percentage of identified
students multiplied by a factor of 1.6.
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Who are the Identified Students?
 Identified students are defined as the students certified for free
meals not through the submission of individual applications.
 This definition includes students directly certified through
SNAP, TANF, and FDPIR participation as well as homeless on
the liaison list, Head Start, pre-K Even Start, migrant youth,
runaways, and non-applicants approved by local officials. Foster
children certified through means other than an application are
also included.
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School Eligibility Requirements
 The 40% threshold may be determined school-by-school, by a
group of schools within the LEA, or in the aggregate for an entire
LEA.
% of identified students = Number of identified students as of April 1 X 100
Total enrollment as of April 1
 This percentage multiplied by 1.6 will be the percentage of total
meals served reimbursed at the Federal free rate.
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School Eligibility Requirements
 Requires participating schools to offer all children free breakfasts
and free lunches for four successive school years.
 Any costs of serving breakfasts and lunches in excess of the
Federal assistance received, including Federal cash
reimbursement, must be paid from non-Federal sources.
 The legislation states that for the purpose of the Community
Eligibility Option the local education agency may not be a
residential child care institution (RCCI).
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School Eligibility Requirements
 LEA and schools should run their direct certification numbers
before April 1st of each year to obtain current counts of SNAP,
TANF, and FDPIR participants.
 Homeless, migrant youth, and foster children lists must be
matched before April 1st of each year to include in the identified
student percentage.
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Non-Federal Funding Sources
 Any funds other than Federal reimbursement available to the
nonprofit school food service account may be used.
 Similar to Provision 2 and 3, the use of non-Federal funds is only
necessary if the total amount of Federal reimbursement through
the Option does not cover the costs of serving all students free
meals.
 The non-Federal funds used to cover any excess meal costs
through Community Eligibility may not be used to meet other
Federal requirements.
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Examples of Non-Federal Sources for
the Community Eligibility Option
 Any portion of State revenue matching funds that exceeds the
minimum requirement established in 7 CFR 210.17.
 Profits from a la carte sales.
 In-kind contributions funds from outside sources such as
volunteer services or a cash donation.
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Procedures: General
 LEAs must notify the State agency no later than June 30th of the
school year prior to the first year of electing the Option of
interest.
 A new identified student percentage may be established each
year of the four year cycle to determine the percentage used in
the following year.
 Schools may elect to stop the Option for the next year by
notifying the State agency no later than June 30th of the current
school year.
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Procedures: Annual Percentage Selection
 During the second, third, and fourth years in the Option, the
LEA or school may select the higher of the identified student
percentage from the year directly prior or the year prior to the
first year of receiving benefits.
 Year 1: Year prior toYear 1
 Year 2: Percentage from April 1st of Year 1 or Year prior toYear 1
 Year 3: Percentage from April 1st of Year 2 or Year prior toYear 1
 Year 4: Percentage from April 1st of Year 3 or Year prior toYear 1
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Procedures: Grace Year
 LEAs and schools in year 4 with an identified student percentage less
than 40% are permitted to stay on the Option for an additional year.
 The identified student percentage must be greater than or equal to
30% to qualify for the grace year.
 Grace year claiming percentages must be based on the percentage of
identified students as of April 1st of year 4.
 LEA or schools meeting the 40% threshold by April 1st of the grace
year may begin a new 4-year cycle in the following SY.
 LEAs and schools that do not meet the threshold must return to
normal counting and claiming procedures in the following SY.
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Procedures: Reimbursements
 The percentage of identified students as of April 1st of the prior
year is multiplied by 1.6 to determine the percentage of meals
reimbursed at the Federal free rate.
 The remaining percentage of meals not covered under the
Option will be reimbursed at the Federal paid rate.
 Any meal costs in excess of the total Federal reimbursement
must be covered through non-Federal sources.
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Procedures: Provision 2/3 Schools
 Eligible Provision 2/3 schools intending to elect the Option
must be able to establish current identified student percentages.
 Eligible Provision 2/3 schools may elect the Option during base
or non base years, as long as current direct certification
numbers are available.
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Procedures: State Notifications
 By May 1st of each year, State agencies electing the Option
must:
 Notify LEAs with an identified student percentage of at least 40% of
eligibility
 Notify LEAs with an identified student percentage greater than 30% but
less than 40% of potential future eligibility
 Notify LEAs currently electing the Option of the claiming percentages
used for each year.
 Notify LEAs currently in the 4th year with an identified student
percentage of at least 30% of grace year eligibility.
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Procedures: LEA Notifications
 By May 1st of each year, LEAs must provide the State agency
with the following school level information for publication:
 List of schools with an identified student percentage of at
least 40%.
 List of schools with an identified student percentage greater
than 30% but less than 40%.
 List of schools in the 4th year of electing the Option with an
identified student percentage of at least 30%.
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Evaluation
 An evaluation will be conducted to assess Option participation
and impact in the eligible LEAs and schools in the States
selected during the phase-in period.
 Data collection will begin in Fall 2012.
 The final report will be completed December 2013.
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Estimator Tool Prototype
Demonstration
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Estimator Tool
 Excel tool to ESTIMATE the level of Federal reimbursement
received under the Option.
 Calculates the identified student percentage, percentage of
meals reimbursed at free and paid rate, projected level of
Federal reimbursement, reimbursement per meal, and if
needed the amount of non-Federal funds.
 User enters number of identified students, enrolled students,
number of meals served and cost of producing a
reimbursable meal.
 User may also enter a projected participation change.
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Step 1: Determining Identified Student, Free, and
Paid Percentages
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Invalid Identified Student Percentage:
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Step 2: Federal Reimbursement Rates
 The reimbursement rates in the Estimator are for the current
year.
 The monthly Federal reimbursement payments will be based on
the updated reimbursement rates for the new school year.
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Step 3: Entering Monthly Meal Data:
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Estimated Federal and Non-Federal Funds
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Participation Projection
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Tracking Page
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Next Steps
 Contact LEAs planning to implement the Option in
SY2012-2013 in at least one school and develop a
communication plan to gather the identified student
percentages.
 Build a list of LEAs and schools implementing the Option
and record the identified student percentages.
 Instruct LEAs to notify students and parents of the
Community Eligibility Option and that free meals will be
offered to all enrolled students.
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SY2012-2013 Implementation
 Due to being notified after April 1st, LEAs in the District of
Columbia, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia for the first
year ONLY may go back and recreate identified student
percentages that accurately represent the number of as of
April 1st 2012.
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Questions?
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