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State Child Nutrition Funding for Charter Schools


Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors

Number: 06-107

Attention: Food Service Director

Date: February 2006

Subject: State Child Nutrition Funding for Charter Schools Starting in 2005-06

Reference: Assembly Bill 740 (Statutes of 2005, Chapter 359): California’s Charter School 2005-06 Categorical Block Grant (California Education Code (EC) sections 41540, 47634, 47636); and Senate Bill 281 (Statutes of 2005, Chapter 236), known as the “California Fresh Start Pilot Program“ (EC Section 49565); and School Breakfast Program Grants (EC 49550.3).

This Management Bulletin (MB) provides information regarding statutory changes affecting charter schools’ access to California State child nutrition funding (meal reimbursement) and school breakfast grants, beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2005-06.

Last year, California’s 2004-05 Charter School Categorical Block Grant (Block Grant) specifically prohibited charter schools from applying separately for any additional state child nutrition funding or for the School Breakfast Program (SBP) Start-Up and Expansion Grants. This was because the Block Grant contained funding for these types of programs.

This year, however, California’s Legislature removed any reference to child nutrition or SBP funding in the 2005-06 Block Grant (Assembly Bill 740), which was signed into law September 28, 2005, and contains the methodology for calculating the categorical block grant for charter schools for FYs 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, and thereafter. Funding for FY 2005-06 began July 1, 2005.

These methodological changes in calculating the Block Grant are significant and enable charter schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and SBP to once again claim and receive the supplemental “state meal” reimbursement (currently $0.1413 per meal) for eligible free and reduced-price lunches and breakfasts served to enrolled students. Also, charter schools participating in or applying for the SBP may once again apply for SBP Start-Up and Expansion Grants. (More information was recently distributed regarding SBP grant funding in MB 05-115.)

Specifically, charter schools that have been participating in the NSLP or SBP since July 1, 2005, are currently eligible to receive state meal reimbursement for eligible free and reduced-price meals served, retroactive to July 1, 2005. The California Department of Education (CDE) will make payments no later than February 2006 to eligible charter school sponsors whose FY 2005-06 claims did not contain state meal reimbursement. Any claims received after November 8, 2005, will automatically receive the state meal reimbursement.

In addition to the changes in the Block Grant, Senate Bill 281 was signed into law on September 15, 2005, establishing the “California Fresh Start (CFS) Pilot Program.” The CFS Pilot Program provides supplemental state child nutrition funding to participating public and charter schools of ten cents ($0.10) per breakfast meal served to all children that includes appropriate servings of fruits and vegetables in order to promote the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables in schools (see the CFS Pilot Program Information Alerts distributed by CDE in October and November 2005, and CDE’s Web site at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/sn/cfsp.asp [Note: the preceeding link is no longer valid.] for further details). The Legislature specifically included charter schools in this new law, which means eligible charter schools will be allowed to receive the additional state funding as long as CFS Pilot Program funding is available. Furthermore, CFS Pilot Program funding is not contingent on language or funding provisions in future Block Grants.

If you have any questions regarding how to apply for SBP Start-Up and Expansion Grants, or the CFS Pilot Program, please contact the appropriate SNP specialist listed on form SNP 21 in the Download Forms section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS).

If you have any questions regarding State Meal reimbursement for free and reduced-price meals, please contact your School Nutrition Fiscal Analyst listed at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/nt/.

If you have any questions regarding a charter school’s eligibility to participate in the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, or Special Milk Programs, please contact the appropriate SNP specialist listed on form Caseload SNP in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS.

Please share this bulletin with your district management and business personnel as appropriate.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
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