Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
|Purpose: Beneficial Information|
|To: School Food Service Directors and School Business Officials||Number: NSD-SNP-17-2013|
|Attention: School Food Service Directors and School Business Officials||Date: October 2013|
|Subject: Local Control Funding Formula and School Nutrition Programs|
|Reference: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (Title 20, U.S. Code Section 1232g; Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations Part 99); Title 2, Division 4, Part 27, Chapter 6.5 of the California Education Code, beginning at Section 49060 et seq.; the California Information Practices Act (California Civil Code Section 1798 et seq.), Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution; Assembly Bill 97 (Chapter 47, Statutes of 2013)|
This Management Bulletin (MB) provides local educational agencies (LEA) guidance on how changes related to the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) affect school nutrition programs, and more specifically, school nutrition programs that participate in the federal alternative meal counting and collection procedures known as Provision 2 and Provision 3 (Provision 2/3).
The California Department of Education (CDE) will issue additional guidance regarding the LCFF as it becomes available. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the CDE LCFF Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/lc.
As explained below, beginning in school year (SY) 2013–14, Provision 2/3 schools are required to collect household income data for individual students during non-base years in order to identify low-income students in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS). Although this will represent additional workload, the CDE encourages Provision 2/3 schools to continue participating in Provision 2/3. Provision 2/3 schools generally serve students in very high poverty areas, allowing all students to receive meals at no charge. For some students, this may be the only nutritionally balanced meal they receive each day and it is in the best interest of these students to continue to receive meals at no charge. The additional student data collected during non-base years will be used to provide substantial additional income to schools, especially those with a high percentage of low-income students.
For your convenience we are providing this information in a question and answer format. The following questions are identified by bold and italicized text.
What is the Local Control Funding Formula?
The LCFF, enacted as part of the 2013–14 state budget, establishes a new uniform funding formula and system of academic accountability. The formula replaces revenue limits and most categorical programs with uniform base rates for all pupils and provides significantly more funding for English Learner (EL) and low-income students.
The new LCFF system of academic accountability requires LEAs to publicly report how they will use the funds provided under the LCFF and establishes a new system of support for underperforming school districts and charter schools.
One of the key elements of the new funding formula is the targeting of certain disadvantaged student populations in the calculation of funding amounts. Specifically, the LCFF includes supplemental and concentration grants for targeted disadvantaged students. Targeted students are those classified as EL, students eligible to receive free and reduced-price meals (FRPM), foster youth, or any combination of these factors (unduplicated counts).
For more information regarding the LCFF, please visit the CDE LCFF Overview Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/lc/lcffoverview.asp.
When will the LCFF go into effect?
Implementation of the LCFF begins in SY 2013–14. The California Department of Finance estimates that achieving full funding levels under the LCFF will take eight years based on its current Proposition 98 growth projections. During the intervening years, some LCFF provisions will be phased in (e.g., funding levels and kindergarten–third grade class size). The State Board of Education (SBE) will adopt regulations and templates to support local implementation in early 2014 for use during the 2014–15 program and budget planning process. Please note that a number of key decisions have yet to be made by the SBE and the CDE regarding the implementation of the new fiscal and academic accountability provisions.
What data are used to determine FRPM eligibility?
CALPADS data will provide the basis for determining the unduplicated count of targeted student populations. Students meeting any of the following criteria are considered FRPM eligible:
- Students meeting National School Lunch Program (NSLP) income criteria as documented by an NSLP application form on file at the school
- Students identified by the LEA to meet the same household income guidelines (based on federal poverty levels) used in the NSLP with the use of an alternative household income data collection process
- Students categorically (automatically) eligible for FRPM, including:
- Migrant students
- Homeless students
- Foster students
- Students that include a CalFresh (known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP] in federal regulations, formerly known as Food Stamps), California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs ) (known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF] in federal regulations), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations case number on their FRPM application
- Migrant students
- Students directly certified as eligible for free meals based on a local match or the state-administered automatic match with California’s CalFresh and CalWORKs program data
Except for students who are directly certified via the state-level match or foster children identified through the state administered match process that compares student data in CALPADS with data in the California Department of Social Services data system, LEAs must submit the appropriate student level information and/or student program records to CALPADS in order for the students to be counted as FRPM eligible.
This means that Provision 2/3 schools and schools that do not participate in the NSLP must determine income eligibility through a different or alternative household income data collection process. Schools submit a program record, but not the actual income data in CALPADS for students not identified through the state direct certification match. Direct Certification (DC) is a collaborative, interagency electronic process where a school district/agency matches a student’s enrollment record against a local county welfare office’s or the CDE’s CALPADS data records to see if the student is receiving CalFresh or CalWORKs benefits; if the answer is yes, then the student automatically qualifies for free meals in all federal school nutrition programs, without further application.
LCFF funding calculations are not the only reason that LEAs and the CDE must collect socioeconomic status for individual students. This data also tracks the academic achievement of the socioeconomically disadvantaged student group as defined in California’s accountability workbook approved by the SBE and submitted to the U.S. Department of Education as required by the federal accountability statute. For further information on how CALPADS data will be used under the LCFF, please review the CDE’s letter from August 8, 2013, on the CDE CALPADS and the LCFF Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sp/cl/calpadslcff080813.asp.
How will Provision 2/3 schools be affected by the LCFF?
Public LEAs (agencies that report their enrollment data to the CDE such as school districts, county offices of education [COE], and public charter schools) must submit individual socioeconomic status data for each student to the CDE’s CALPADS each year in order to receive the supplemental funding under LCFF.
Provision 2/3 schools collect FRPM applications only during the first year (called the base year) of a four-year cycle. Consequently, during non-base years, in order to receive funding under LCFF LEAs must participate in DC (explained above) to determine FRPM eligibility. For those students not identified through the DC process, LEAs must collect individual socioeconomic status data for each eligible child using an alternative household income data collection process.
Below are some important considerations for Provision 2/3 schools (and their LEAs):
- Provision 2/3 schools are not required to start a new base year (see question below regarding workload pertaining to Provision 2/3 schools that restart their base year).
- Provision 2/3 schools can continue to participate in Provisions, but to satisfy the need for individual data, they must use a local process to collect individual students’ socioeconomic status. An alternative form or process to collect household income data can be used to establish that the student’s household income meets the same federal poverty income guidelines used in the NSLP. (Schools do not need to obtain additional data for any student identified as eligible using the DC process.)
- To assist LEAs in establishing an alternative household income data collection process for their Provision 2/3 schools, the California School Information Services (CSIS) has posted a sample “Alternative Income” form on the CSIS Tools and Samples Web page at http://csis.fcmat.org/Pages/Tools-Samples-Links.aspx (the sample “Alternative Income” form is located under the “Forms” heading on the CSIS Tools and Samples Web page). The form is a modified version of the CDE’s NSLP eligibility application form, with all references to FRPMs removed from it. A Spanish version of the sample form is also posted at the same location. The CDE intends to post an additional sample form in the near future.
- When an LEA determines that a student is FRPM-eligible based upon an NSLP or alternative household income data collection process, the LEA should update CALPADS with an FRPM program record.
- LEAs that process FRPM or alternative household income data collection forms after Census Day in October, but before the end of the “CALPADS Fall 1 amendment window” in early February, may update CALPADS with those records that have an effective date equal to the student’s enrollment start date for that SY. If student data is updated and certified in CALPADS by the close of the Fall 1 amendment window, those students will be counted. The CDE will provide additional time, up to March 21, 2014, for LEAs that have one or more schools with an NSLP Provision 2/3 status to certify their Fall 1 data.
- Provision 2/3 schools can also opt out of using Provisions, and choose to return to standard meal counting and collection procedures. However, implementing this option may have a negative impact on a student’s access to meals because reduced-price and paid eligible students may no longer receive a meal at no charge as required in Provision 2/3 schools. If the district chooses to opt out of using Provision 2/3, please review the information below regarding additional workload.
Schools may reestablish their base year at any time; however, doing so diminishes the rationale for electing to participate in Provision 2/3. LEAs that reestablish their Provision 2/3 base year for SY 2013–14 must develop an alternative household income data collection process for SY 2014–15 in order to collect FRPM eligibility information in 2014–15. The district must pay for this process with its general or other fund and not the cafeteria funds.
What happens if LEAs do not collect and report the socioeconomic status of each student in the CALPADS?
LEAs that do not collect and report individual student socioeconomic status data in CALPADS may not receive the funding that they may be eligible to receive under the LCFF. In addition, data on the economically disadvantaged subgroup within the LEA will not be accurately represented in accountability data and reports.
Will there be a verification process for the alternative forms?
COEs will be required to review and validate aggregate data after it has been certified (approved) by the district or charter school. The LCFF legislation also requires audits of LEA data, to include, but not be limited to, the consistency of the LCFF pupil count data with pupil records.
What confidentiality laws apply to an “alternative form” that is submitted to an LEA for LCFF and accountability purposes?
Any alternative application submitted to an LEA for LCFF and accountability purposes would be subject to all relevant federal and California State privacy laws that pertain to educational records including, without limitation, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (Title 20, U.S. Code Section 1232g; Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 99); Title 2, Division 4, Part 27, Chapter 6.5 of the California Education Code, beginning at Section 49060 et seq.; the California Information Practices Act (California Civil Code Section 1798 et seq.), and Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution.
Can a student’s FRPM application information and/or eligibility status, traditionally used only for very limited purposes, be used for the purposes of determining LCFF funding?
Yes. Assembly Bill 97 (Chapter 47, Statutes of 2013) specifically directs LEAs to annually report enrolled FRPM eligibility (name and status only) via CALPADS for the purpose of computing the LCFF.
Can the cafeteria fund be used to support administrative functions related to the alternative household income data collection process?
No. Federal and California State laws prohibit the school cafeteria fund from paying for functions that are not related to the NSLP, such as the development, distribution, receipt, review, and approval of an alternative household income data collection process, as these functions are not related to the non-profit school food service operation. Specifically:
- School Food Service Directors and their staff cannot be paid with cafeteria funds to oversee any part of the LCFF process; therefore, they should not be put in a position to do so unless they are paid by another allowable funding source, other than the cafeteria fund, for the specific amount of time they are performing functions not related to the NSLP. Please be reminded that staff working under more than one project/funding code must complete Personnel Activity Reports to reflect all funding sources and time worked.
- Companies that develop Point of Sale/Service (POS) computer software should not assume that school food service departments are in any way responsible for LCFF data collection, and LEAs should not use school nutrition program software/hardware or contracts for such items to collect or report LCFF data.
- LEAs must not mention a school meal program on the alternative household income data collection form, except to state that submission and approval of this alternative form does not qualify a child or household for any level of participation in a school meal program.
Active Provision 2/3 schools may not collect FRPM applications during non-base years for students unless they want to cancel their Provision 2/3 status and use the applications to either: (1) revert to standard meal counting and claiming, or (2) reestablish their Provision 2/3 base year.
Can Provision 2/3 schools collect Direct Certification data for students?
Yes. Provision 2/3 schools should already be entering student data into CALPADS regarding all of the students enrolled at their schools on an ongoing basis. At the beginning of every month, student data from CALPADS is automatically matched with statewide CalFresh and CalWORKs data, and those students receiving CalFresh or CalWORKs benefits are directly certified so they may receive free meals under the NSLP for the remainder of the school year. Each LEA should have a CALPADS administrator who should have access to that match listing from CALPADS.
For the purposes of LCFF, eligibility as of Census Day (first Wednesday in October) will determine eligibility for supplemental funding. Eligibility determination and data submission in CALPADS does not need to be complete by Census Day. LEAs that process FRPM or alternative household income data collection forms after Census Day in October, but before the end of the “CALPADS Fall 1 amendment window” in early February, may update CALPADS with those records that have an effective date equal to the student’s enrollment start date for that school year. If student data is updated and certified in CALPADS by the close of the Fall 1 amendment window, those students will be counted. The CDE will provide additional time, up to March 21, 2014, for LEAs that have one or more schools with an NSLP Provision 2/3 status to certify their Fall 1 data.
What would an LEA participating in Provision 2/3 need to do if it wanted to start a new Provision 2/3 base year?
The LEA would at a minimum, need to:
- Conduct significant outreach and marketing to their community that identifies which schools would be participating in a new base year, so that households respond to the new application request
- Serve meals to all students at no charge (have a non-pricing meal program)
- Invest staff time and funding into the development, distribution, collection, review, and evaluation of meal applications to determine each student’s meal program eligibility (e.g., free, reduced-price, or paid)
- Develop eligibility rosters and POS procedures for each school
- Distribute a Media Release providing timely public notification of the meal program change(s)
- Send letters to households before the school year and new meal service begins
- Submit an amended Policy Statement and new Meal Count and Collection Procedures to the CDE for pre-approval
- Update the LEA’s Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) information regarding their participation in Provision 2/3
- Conduct the annual application verification process between October 1 and November 15
- Count meals served to students and record them by eligibility type on a daily basis, while being cognizant of the annual federal attendance factor and edit check requirements and recording anomalies
- Put processes in place to prevent overt identification of students’ eligibility
- Follow all local, state, and federal regulations and USDA Eligibility Guidance and Provision 2/3 Guidance requirements
- Claim student meals by their eligibility category versus the percentage of FRPM in non-base years
The CDE recommends that schools already participating in Provision 2/3 continue to do so if possible because of the positive nutritional benefits for students that access meals at no charge through the meal program. Consideration should also include the increased workload that will occur within the LEA by reestablishing the base year or returning to standard meal counting and claiming procedures.
Please note that the requirements for a school returning to standard meal counting and claiming procedures would be the same as outlined above for recalculating or restarting a new base year; except for the requirement of a non-pricing meal program.
How should LEAs that have a mix of sites that participate in school meal programs and those that do not participate in school meal programs, or are on Provision 2/3, collect and report the required student level socioeconomic status data?
Schools that participate in the NSLP using standard meal counting and claiming procedures will continue to collect FRPM applications as usual and enter FRPM student data into CALPADS. Schools that do not participate in the NSLP or School Breakfast Program or schools on Provision 2/3 during non-base years must use an alternate household income data collection process or survey unrelated to the NSLP or FRPM applications to collect and submit student household income data to CALPADS each year.
For students in households with an income level at or between 130 percent and 185 percent of the federal poverty level, LEAs should submit program records indicating they are eligible to receive reduced-price meals (Education Program 181). For students in households with an income level at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level, LEAs should submit program records indicating they are eligible to receive free meals (Education Program 182).
How will the new Community Eligibility Option (CEO) for school nutrition programs affect the LCFF requirements?
LEAs that choose to participate in the CEO in 2014–15 will also need to use an alternate household income data collection process to collect individual student socioeconomic data. Schools participating in the CEO are governed by the same spending restrictions imposed on cafeteria funds as described above in this overview for the use of alternate, non-school nutrition program forms (and staff/labor). The CDE will provide information regarding the new CEO in spring 2014. The CDE plans to implement CEO in SY 2014–15.
Where can I find the most recent information about the LCFF?
For current details on LCFF requirements, refer to the LCFF Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/lc.
Who can I contact for additional information regarding Provision 2/3?
You may contact your School Nutrition Program Unit County Specialist whose information is available in the CNIPS by selecting Application, Download Form section, and Caseload SNP (formerly SNP-21).
Who can I contact for additional information regarding the LCFF and/or the CALPADS?
If you have questions regarding the submission of data in CALPADS, please contact the CALPADS Service Desk by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and for details on the LCFF, please refer to the LCFF resources previously identified in this message at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/lc/ and http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/el/le/yr13ltr0807.asp.
The LCFF, CALPADS, Provision 2/3, cafeteria fund, and NSLP eligibility information found in this document (and further details on each subject) is available on the following Web pages:
- New CDE LCFF Web page
- CDE CALPADS Web page
- USDA Provision 1, 2, and 3 Web page - Provision 2 Guidance Manual
- USDA Provision 1, 2, and 3 Fact Sheet Web page
- CDE School Nutrition Cafeteria Fund Guidance Web page
- CDE School Nutrition Management Bulletins Web page
- USDA Guidance and Resources Web page - Eligibility Manual for School Meals
- CSIS Tools and Samples Web page - Alternative Income Form