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2011-12 Free and Reduced Price Meal Data

Letter Head: Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education

June 28, 2012

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

2011–12 FREE AND REDUCED PRICE MEAL DATA

As the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) has become more reliable, the California Department of Education (CDE) is transitioning to discontinue duplicate data collections to reduce the reporting burden on local educational agencies (LEAs).

The CDE understands that any CALPADS data impacting funding are of high importance to LEAs. Two such data elements are enrollment and counts of students eligible for Free and Reduced Priced Meals (FRPM). Currently, LEAs can view reports displaying aggregate enrollment counts and they are required to certify those reports during the CALPADS Fall 1 submission. However, LEAs are currently not able to view aggregate FRPM counts in CALPADS. Since FRPM counts are used for a number of funding calculations, it is important that these counts are accurate. The purpose of this letter is to explain how LEAs can review and amend their 2011–12 FRPM data, and how the process will change in the future. Specifically, this document describes:

  • How enrollment and FRPM data are used for two major programs: federal Title I and II and Economic Impact Aid (EIA);
  • What data are included in the FRPM downloadable file (Titled, Free/Reduced Meals Program & CalWORKS Data File) currently posted on the CDE website at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sh/cw/filesafdc.asp;
  • What FRPM data LEAs must review and report in the Consolidated Application Reporting Systems (CARS);
  • What LEAs should do – which enrollment and FRPM data LEAs should review, and steps to take to amend that data; and
  • The process that the CDE will use to collect student level FRPM data in CALPADS in future years to calculate subsequent year’s funding.
How Enrollment and FRPM Data are Used

It is important for LEAs to review and amend their enrollment and FRPM data for the following reasons:

  • The certified enrollment and FRPM counts are used to calculate federal Title I and II allocations only for County Offices of Education (COEs) and direct funded charter schools. Federal census data are used to calculate Title I and II funding levels for the remaining majority of LEAs that do not fall in these two categories.
  • The certified enrollment counts are used to calculate EIA entitlements for all school districts, and those COEs operating a juvenile court school. The free meal subtotal of the FRPM counts is also used to generate EIA entitlements for COEs operating juvenile court schools and small rural school districts.1 However, separate free meal counts are required from all schools statewide, including direct and locally funded charter schools, to accurately calculate the free meal adjustment factor, which is then used to generate EIA funds for COEs operating juvenile court schools and small rural school districts.

All LEAs should continue to pay attention to their certified CALPADS enrollment and FRPM eligibility counts in the future because these counts are used to determine whether an LEA is eligible for various federal and state entitlement programs, as well as for competitive grant programs, such as the After School Education and Safety Program and 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program.

1Designation as a small rural school district for EIA purposes is updated annually. The 201112 small rural districts are identified in Column G of the “Schedule of 201112 Revised EIA Entitlement Data” found on the EIA funding results page at: www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fo/R14/EIA11Result.asp. Your district’s designation may change for purposes of 201213 EIA funding.

What is Included in the FRPM Downloadable File

The 2011–12 FRPM downloadable file available from our website at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sh/cw/filesafdc.asp includes data for all LEAs. This 2011–12 file reflects certified CALPADS data pulled on March 21, 2012, after the CALPADS 2011 Fall 1 amendment window closed, and calculated “free meal” and “reduced price meal” eligibility counts for certain schools. (Note: This file was reposted on June 12, 2012 to correctly exclude secondary enrollments, include short-term enrollments.)

Specifically, the 2011–12 FRPM downloadable file includes:

  • The certified CALPADS Fall 1 enrollment (ages 5-17) for all schools.
  • Total FRPM eligible students counts (ages 5-17), and separate “free meal” and “reduced price meal” eligibility counts for schools with Provision 2 or 3 status through the Breakfast or National School Lunch Program (NSLP), calculated by applying the free and reduced price meal eligibility percentages reported on the 2010–11 Consolidated Application (ConApp) to the 2011–12 certified CALPADS Fall 1 enrollment (ages 5-17) count. These counts are calculated because the state cannot require LEAs to report student-level FRPM eligibility data for Provision 2 and 3 schools.
  • Total FRPM eligible student counts (ages 5-17) from CALPADS for all non-Provision 2 or 3 schools.

In the past, the ConApp was the source for these downloadable data files, which are now sourced from CALPADS.

Data Included in the Consolidated Application Reporting System (CARS)

The CDE will release a new collection in CARS during the first week of July. The CDE needs the count of students eligible for free meals in order to calculate EIA entitlements. Also, the CDE is required to report the free count eligible separate from the reduced count eligible to the U.S. Department of Education. Since this breakout was not collected in CALPADS in 2011–12, the CDE is requesting LEAs to identify of the total CALPADS FRPM count, the number of students eligible for free meals and the number eligible for reduced price meals. LEAs will be able to report these counts via CARS. CARS will be preloaded with CALPADS total FRPM certified counts and LEAs will be requested to separate out the number of students eligible for free and reduced priced meals for their non-Provision 2 and 3 schools. Separate instructions will be provided to LEAs on this CARS functionality. This activity is not required for Provision 2 and 3 schools because the break out has been calculated for these schools as described above; however, by July 31, 2012, LEAs must go into CARS and certify the breakout displayed in CARS.

What LEAs Should Do
Which Data Impacts Funding
  • Incorrect 2011–12 certified CALPADS enrollment (column J in the downloadable file: Enrollment (age 5-17)) counts will impact Title I and II funding for COE schools and direct funded charters, as well as EIA entitlements for LEAs receiving this funding.
  • Incorrect 2011–12 total CALPADS FRPM counts (column M in the downloadable file: Eligible for FRPM Total (age 5-17)) will impact funding for non-Provision 2 or 3 COE schools, direct funded charter schools, and EIA designated small rural districts. (Note: In the downloadable file, the separate free and reduced count columns show zero for non-Provision 2 or 3 schools because CALPADS did not collect the eligible for free meals count separate from reduced price meals in 2011–12. This is why LEAs must separate out the free count and reduced price meal count in CARS as described above.)
  • Incorrect free counts and incorrect reduced price meal student eligible counts (Columns K and L in downloadable file, Eligible for Free Meals (age 5-17), Eligible for Reduced Price Meals (age 5-17)) will impact funding for Provision 2 or 3 COE schools, direct funded charters, and EIA designated small rural districts.
Steps to Take to Amend Data

LEAs can review the enrollment and FRPM data in the downloadable file currently available from our website at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sh/cw/filesafdc.asp. These data will also be viewable within CARS and LEAs will be expected to review, amend, and certify these data in CARS. Specifically:

  • For Non-Provision 2 and 3 Schools: In CARS, LEAs must separate out the count of students eligible for free meals and the count of students eligible for reduced price meals in their non-Provision 2 or 3 schools. The sum of the two counts must equal the total FRPM count that has been preloaded from CALPADS. If the total CALPADS FRPM count is incorrect, LEAS may decertify, amend, and recertify their 201112 CALPADS data during a 3 to 4 week window in the August-September timeframe.2 The CDE will then load the recertified data into CARS and in October LEAs will have another opportunity to separate out the count of students eligible for free and reduced price meals in CARS. Note: If the LEA needs to correct the CALPADS FRPM data, the LEA has the option to check “Report Later” for the non-provision 2 and 3 schools in the FRPM data collection.
  • For Provision 2 and 3 Schools: In CARS, LEAs must review, revise if necessary, and certify the count of students eligible for free meals and the count of students eligible for reduced price meals that was extrapolated by the CDE and preloaded into CARS for Provision 2 and 3 schools. In CARS, the sum of the two counts cannot exceed the school’s total enrollment (ages 5-17). If the total enrollment (age 5-17) is incorrect, LEAs must go to CALPADS and decertify, amend, and recertify their 201112 CALPADS data during the same window described above.2 The CDE will then reload the recertified data in CARS and in October LEAs will have another opportunity to revise and certify the count of students eligible for free and reduced price meals.

The CDE will then use the updated data to revise calculations for 2012–13 federal Title I and II allocations and EIA entitlements.

Amending CALPADS Data: LEAs may amend their data in the CALPADS Operational Data Store (ODS) at any time. However, to decertify and recertify their 2011–12 CALPADS Fall 1 data, the LEA must contact the CALPADS Service Desk by submitting a service request at http://www2.cde.ca.gov/calpadshelp/default.aspx. LEAs that have requested to decertify their data must then recertify their data during a window which will open in mid-August and close in mid-September.2 The CDE will communicate the specific dates of this window when they become available.

Note: It is imperative that LEAs choosing to decertify and amend their 2011–12 CALPADS Fall 1 data, recertify their data by the mid-September deadline, or risk having no official 2011–12 enrollment or FRPM data.

2 New or significantly expanded direct funded charter school should have already received a separate e-mail regarding an earlier window to decertify and recertify their CALPADS 2011–12 Fall 1 enrollment and FRPM data. This was necessary to enable the CDE to determine 2011–12 Title I and II entitlements.

Use of 2012–13 CALPADS FRPM Data to Determine 2013–14 Funding

Beginning July 1, 2012, LEAs will be required to separately report in CALPADS student level data for those students eligible for free meals separate from those students eligible for reduced-price meals. These data are required to meet federal reporting requirements and EIA entitlements.

The CDE is also developing a new CALPADS Fall 1 certification report which will become available in the fall of 2012–13. In addition to students who have been reported as eligible or participating in NSLP, migrant, homeless, foster, and directly certified students are also eligible for FRPM. Since these data exist in CALPADS, the new report will display an unduplicated count of students eligible for FRPM based on all of these factors, thus providing a more comprehensive count of students eligible for FRPM. The CDE will use this count for funding calculations and federal reporting.

Funding for Provision 2 and 3 schools, however, will continue to be based on a percentage of total CALPADS certified enrollment. LEAs will continue to report these schools’ free and reduced price meals eligibility data using the CARS.

We hope the new CALPADS FRPM report will be of great benefit to LEAs. If you have any questions, please contact:

Sincerely,

Keric Ashley, Director
Educational Data Management Division

KA:pm

 

Attachment 1
Procedure Used to Develop the 2011 Free/Reduced Meals Program & CalWORKS Data File

Below is the description of the process that the CDE took to build the downloadable FRPM file posted at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sh/cw/filesafdc.asp.

Step 1. Extracted certified CALPADS 2011–12  Fall 1 data

The CDE extracted the certified 2011–12 Fall 1 enrollment and FRPM eligible data from CALPADS, which reflected counts as of Census Day for students (ages 5-17) with enrollment statuses of primary and short-term. (Note: CALPADS currently does not disaggregate the counts by free and reduced, so only a total of combined FRPM counts was available from CALPADS.)

Step 2. Calculated percent FRPM for non-Provision 2 and 3 schools

For non-Provision 2 and 3 schools, from the data extracted in Step 1, calculated the percentage FRPM by dividing the “Eligible for FRPM Total (age 5-17)” column by the “Enrollment (age 5-17)” column.

For example: Dividing 705 by 1549 results in 46% percent FRPM eligible for that school.

Enrollment (ages 5-17) Eligible for FRPM Total (ages 5-17) % FRPM
1549
705
46%
Step 3. Calculated the count of free and reduced price meal eligible students and percent FRPM for Provision 2 and 3 schools using certified CALPADS 2011–12 Enrollment and 2010–11 ConApp Part II Data

The CDE identified the Provision 2 and 3 schools from a list provided by the CDE’s Nutrition Services Division. Extracted data for the Provision 2 and 3 schools from page 48 of the 2010–11 ConApp Part II.

  • Using this data set, calculated the percentage of students eligible for free priced meals and the percentage of students eligible for reduced priced meals as follows:
    • For students eligible for free meals: Divided the number of free meal eligible students by the total enrollment on the ConApp to create the percentage free column.
    • For students eligibile for reduced price meals: Divided the number of reduced price meal eligible students by the total enrollment on the ConApp to create the percentage reduced column.

For example: Dividing 163 by 301 results in a 54% free eligible student count, and dividing 121 by 301 results in a 41% reduced eligible student count for this school.

School ConApp Enrollment Free Reduced % Free % Reduced
ABC School
301
163
121
54%
41%
  • Calculated the 2011 count of free meal eligible students and the count of reduced price meal eligible students for Provision 2 and 3 schools by multiplying the percentage for each by the CALPADS enrollment count.
    • For students eligible for free count: multiplied the 2011 CALPADS enrollment by the percent Free on the 2010–11 ConApp to extrapolate the (current year) free count.
    • For students eligible for reduced count: multiplied the 2011 CALPADS enrollment by the percent Reduced on the 2010–11 ConApp to extrapolate the (current year) reduced count.
  • For the total FRPM count and percentages for Provision 2 and 3 schools:
    • Added the extrapolated free count with the extrapolated reduced count to get a total eligible for FRPM (column M).
    • Added % Free from ConApp with % Reduced from ConApp to get percentage FRPM (column N).

For example:

  • Multiplying 0.54 by 456 results in a 246.24 (rounded to 246) which is the extrapolated free count
  • Multiplying 0.41 by 456, results in a 186.96 (rounded to 187) which is the extrapolated reduced count
  • Adding 246 + 187, results in 433 which is the extrapolated FRPM count
  • Add 0.54 + 0.41, results in 0.95 which is the extrapolated FRPM percent
CALPADS Enrollment % Free from 2010 ConApp % ReducedFrom 2010 ConApp Extrapolated
Free Count
Extrapolated
Reduced Count
Extrapolated
FRPM count
Extrapolated
FRPM %
456
54%
41%
246
187
433
95%
Step 4. Created the downloadable file

Included the following in the downloadable file:

  • Certified CALPADS 2011–12 enrollment (ages 5-17) for all schools (column J in downloadable file)
  • Certified CALPADS 2011–12 total eligible for FRPM for non-Provision 2 and 3 schools (column M)
  • Percent FRPM of total enrollment calculated in Step 2 for non-Provision 2 and 3 schools (column N)
  • Count of students eligible for free meals and count of students eligible for reduced price meals calculated in Step 3 for Provision 2 and 3 schools (columns K and L)
  • Percent FRPM calculated in Step 3 for Provision 2 and 3 schools (column N)

 

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