State Reimbursement for Nonpublic School Sites
Commencing in school year 2022–23, CA Education Code (EC) Section 49501.5 required public school districts, county offices of education (COE), and charter schools serving students in kindergarten through grade 12 to provide a breakfast and lunch, free of charge, during each school day, regardless of a student’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meals. This is known as the state meal mandate and universal meals. The state meal mandate also applies to public school students in certified nonpublic schools (NPS). This is because the public school students attending the NPS remain under the jurisdiction of the public school district or COE, per EC Section 56365.
Eligible Local Educational Agencies (LEA), specifically public schools, COEs, and charters schools, can be eligible for state reimbursement for meals served to public school students attending an NPS. The NPS must be listed as a site under the sponsorship of the eligible LEA and be a participant in both the school breakfast and national school lunch programs. Please note that the NPS sites are not eligible for state reimbursement for meals served to nonpublic school students, and NPS sponsors are not eligible for state meal reimbursement.
LEAs planning to claim meals served to public school students attending the NPS will need to create two separate sites in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS), and must be able to count and claim public school students separately from nonpublic school students. Please contact your county’s School Nutrition Program (SNP) Specialist if any changes need to be made to your CNIPS site applications.
Limited Time Retroactive Reimbursement for Eligible NPS Sites
Retroactive reimbursement for meals served to public school students at an NPS site is available effective July 1, 2022. The retroactive reimbursement claims deadline is December 14, 2022 and after this date retroactive claims cannot be paid. To retroactively claim state reimbursement for a new or existing NPS site, please follow the procedures below:
- Open the claim month that needs to be revised in the CNIPS. Select the red add revision button at the bottom of the screen. This will open a duplicate editable claim.
- If a new NPS site has been added, both the old NPS site and new site should now be listed. Select the revise option next to the old NPS site. Subtract out enrollment and meal counts that are now associated with public school students. Save the site claim when completed.
- Select the add option next to the new NPS site. Add the enrollment and meal counts that are now associated with public school students (the enrollment and meal counts entered here should be equal to the enrollment and meal counts subtracted from step 2). Save the site claim when completed.
- Repeat this step for additional sites that need to be changed in the same month. Certify and submit the claim for payment. If you receive an error message because the claim deadline has passed, please contact your assigned claims analyst on the Nutrition Services web page.
- Repeat for additional claim months that need to be revised.
If you have any questions regarding this guidance or need assistance revising your site applications, please contact your county’s SNP Specialist. For questions or assistance with revising your claim, please contact your county’s Claims Analyst. All county contacts can be located in the CNIPS Download Forms Section, Form ID Caseload.