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2010-11 Approved Indirect Cost Rates

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information

To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors

Number: NSD-SNP-15-2010
Attention: Food Service Director, Business Official Date: July 2010

Subject: 2010-11 Approved Indirect Cost Rates for Food Service Programs

Reference: California Education Code Section 38101(c); California Department of Education, 2010-11 Approved Indirect Cost Rates Correspondence

This Management Bulletin (MB) provides updated information regarding the California Department of Education’s (CDE) approved 2010-11 indirect cost rates for kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) local educational agencies (LEAs). The list is now available at the CDE Indirect Cost Rates Web page at In addition to providing the indirect cost rates for districts and county offices, this Web page also includes a listing of approved indirect cost rates for charter schools and a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Statewide Indirect Cost Rates

The 2010-11 statewide average indirect cost rates for Food Service programs is 4.44 percent.

For Food Service programs, California Education Code Section 38101(c) limits school district indirect costs to amounts derived using the lesser of a school district's indirect rate or the program's Statewide average indirect cost rate. Both the school district and statewide indirect cost rates are calculated using the standardized account code structure expenditure data from the second prior fiscal year. Each district should compare these statewide rates with their individual indirect cost rate to determine the lesser rate for use in Food Service programs.

A listing with the statewide rates for the last five years is also available at the following CDE Web page: (No longer available).

General Indirect Cost Guidelines

Indirect costs are an LEA’s agency-wide general management costs. For example, indirect costs include costs for fiscal services, personnel/human resources, central support (e.g., purchasing, warehousing), and centralized data processing. An indirect cost rate, which represents the ratio of indirect costs to direct costs, is a standardized way to charge individual programs for their share of general management costs.

When working with LEA indirect cost rates, it is important to note that:

  • The CDE-approved indirect cost rates are the official rates to be applied to federal and State programs that allow indirect cost reimbursement.
  • LEAs may not charge more than their approved rate, but they have the option to charge less than their approved rate.
  • The decision to allow indirect cost reimbursement is specific to each program and should be based on the statutory or regulatory authority for the program (e.g., cafeteria funds in the National School Lunch Program).
  • In the absence of specific language that would prohibit the claiming of indirect costs, a district generally can charge indirect costs.
Indirect Cost Rules by Program

To aid staff in identifying the indirect cost rate allowable for various programs, the standardized account code structure (SACS) Query system is available at the CDE Indirect Cost Rates Web page at The Query system enables you to search for a program using a variety of methods - such as by resource code or program title - and displays information pertinent to the program, including the allowable indirect cost rate.

If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact the School Nutrition Programs Unit at 916-323-7186 or toll-free at 800-952-5609. You may also contact your local Nutrition Services Division Field Services Child Nutrition Consultant at 800-952-5609 or 916-445-0850.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Thursday, October 23, 2014

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