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Nutrition Services

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about how the Nutrition Services program is affected by the flexibility provisions in Senate Bill 4 of the 2009-10 Third Extraordinary Session (SBX3 4).

Please note that this information is provided for historical purposes. The 2013 Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) legislation repealed the flexibility provisions and instead, eliminated funding streams for many categorical programs. The Nutrition Services program was not affected by the flexibility provisions and continues as a separate categorical program under the LCFF.

Refer to the Fiscal Issues Relating to Budget Reductions and Flexibility Provisions guidance letter [] for information on provisions that apply to all programs. The letter covers such matters as the public hearing requirement, base year funding provisions, and how funding reductions will be calculated.

  1. Are local educational agencies (LEAs) permitted to use cafeteria funds “for any educational purpose” under Section 15 of SBX3 4?
    No. There are two types of flexibility in SBX3 4: flexibility with current appropriations (Section 15) and flexibility with June 30, 2008 restricted account balances (Section 42). Section 15 exempted the transfer of child nutrition (cafeteria) funds from this flexibility provision. For a discussion of Section 42, see below.
  2. Were school food service cafeteria funds affected by the “across the board” reductions in the state budget?
    No. Child nutrition funds are not affected by the reduction provision.
  3. Does SBX3 4 Section 42, which allows LEAs to use June 30, 2008, restricted account balances for any purpose in 2008–09 and 2009–10, apply to child nutrition funding?
    While the intent of SBX3 4 was to allow LEAs to access surplus fund balances for other district purposes, districts participating in federal school nutrition programs have minimal flexibility when utilizing cafeteria funds. SBX3 4 did not override the requirements of federal regulations that govern the use of cafeteria funds. LEAs participating in the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, and Special Milk Programs must establish a nonprofit school food service (cafeteria) fund/account. All federal, state, and local revenues, payments, and program reimbursement must be deposited into the cafeteria account and are to be used solely for the operation or improvement of this service.
  4. Where can I find more information about the use of school cafeteria funds?
    The Limitations on Transfer of Funds Management Bulletin provides information about how federal and state regulations govern cafeteria funds and was published in July 2008. This Bulletin is available on the CDE Limitations on the Transfer of Funds Web page. []
Questions:   Fiscal Policy | 916-319-0821
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, December 7, 2016