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School Meal Programs Access and Integrity

School Meal Programs Access and Integrity

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School Meal Programs Access and Integrity

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  1. School Meal Programs Access and Integrity

  2. Direct Certification • Section 101: Improving Direct Certification • Intent: To challenge States to move closer to full performance in directly certifying eligible SNAP children for free school meals.

  3. Direct Certification Overview • Direct Certification Performance Awards • Performance awards for States that are making the greatest strides in directly certifying SNAP children • May award up to 15 States annually for 3 school years • Based on “Outstanding Performance” or “Substantial Improvement” in direct certification rates • Funded $4 million for 3 years ($2 million/category/yr) • Award funding treated as Program income • Funds may be provided to school food authorities for use in carrying out the program.

  4. Direct Certification Implementation • Performance awards will be based on direct certification in 3 school years: 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14 • State direct certification rates for SNAP children will be compared to the previous school year’s rates to determine performance levels • Awards will be made by September 30 each year • First awards will be made by 9/30/2012

  5. Direct Certification Overview • Direct Certification Rate Benchmarks • Benchmarks set for State direct certification rates for SNAP children • States not meeting benchmarks each year must implement continuous improvement plans (CIPs) to improve rates for the next school year • Goal is for States to reach 95% and maintain at least this level

  6. Direct Certification Implementation • Benchmarks: • Each Fall, beginning 2012, FNS will notify States that did not meet required benchmark for previous school year • These States must implement continuous improvement plans (CIPs) to improve rates for the following school year

  7. Letter Method Overview • “Letter Method” Eliminated • Eliminates the “Letter Method” as a method of direct certification for children in SNAP households • If a household provides a SNAP letter to the school, it must still be used in lieu of an application to certify the child for free meals

  8. Letter Method Implementation • Letter method eliminated as direct certification method for SNAP children effective October 1, 2010 • All State agencies must ensure they have a method in place to exchange eligibility information from SNAP officials directly with LEAs as soon as possible • Guidance will be provided in the next few weeks to clarify impact on State direct certification rate data and reporting

  9. Section 101Timeline

  10. Direct Certification with Medicaid • Section 103: Direct Certification for Children Receiving Medicaid Benefits • Intent: Demonstration project to test the effectiveness of direct certification using Medicaid program data matching.

  11. Direct Cert. Medicaid Overview • Phased in starting with SY 2012-13 • By SY 2014-15, and thereafter, will reach LEAs that collectively serve 10% of students certified for free and reduced price meals nationwide • Suggests criteria for selecting States and LEAs to participate • Provides $5 million for FNS study to evaluate results

  12. Direct Cert. Medicaid Implementation • Phase In with an increasingly wider scope: • For SY 2012-13 , demos will be conducted in selected LEAs that collectively serve 2.5 % of students certified for free and reduced price meals nationwide. • For SY 2013-14,5 % • For SY 2014-15, and thereafter, 10%

  13. Direct Cert. Medicaid Timeline

  14. Community Eligibility • Section 104(a): Universal Meal Service in High Poverty Areas. • Intent: Provide an alternative to paper applications for claiming reimbursements in school food authorities serving a high percentage of identified students.

  15. Community Eligibility Overview • LEA or schools electing Community Eligibility special assistance payments agree to serve all students free lunches and breakfasts for 4 successive school years. • The percentage of identified students must be greater than or equal to 40% to qualify. • Meal program claims are based on the percentage of identified students multiplied by a factor of 1.6. • The remainder of meals not covered under the identified student percentage multiplied by the factor will be reimbursed at the paid rate.

  16. Community Eligibility Implementation • A limited number of States will be eligible to elect this option during the first 3 years: • Year 1: 3 States will be selected for the school year beginning July 1, 2011. All eligible LEAs and schools in these States can participate. • Years 2 and 3: An additional 4 States will be selected for each of the school years beginning July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2013. • All LEAs and schools in all States are eligible to participate for school years starting on or after July 1, 2014.

  17. Community Eligibility Timeline • Guidance to implement this provision will be issued in March 2011 • 3 States selected in June 2011 • Proposed rule in Spring 2012 • Final rule in December 2013, in advance of full implementation in July 2014

  18. Use of Census Data • Section 104(b): Universal Meal Service through Census data and Socioeconomic Surveys • Intent: Provide an alternative to paper applications in high poverty areas

  19. Census Data Overview and Timeline • FNS contracted with the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) to study and make recommendations for use of Census data for claiming reimbursement in high poverty areas. • American Community Survey (ACS) data • CNSTAT report expected Fall 2011. • Section 104(b) of the law provides USDA authority to implement recommendations from CN STAT, or to conduct demonstration projects.

  20. Socioeconomic Survey Overview • Use of a socioeconomic survey for claiming meals is authorized in no more than 3 school food authorities. • USDA must develop requirements for the socioeconomic surveys to ensure statistical validity and compliance with OMB Standards and Guidelines for Statistical Surveys.

  21. Socioeconomic Survey Timeline • Fall 2011: Develop and issue socioeconomic survey parameters • Spring 2012: Select school food authorities for socioeconomic survey option

  22. Indirect Cost • Section 307: Indirect Costs • Intent: FNS to issue guidance to SFAs on program rules pertaining to indirect costs, and study the extent of indirect costs paid

  23. Indirect Cost Overview • Guidance will address program rules pertaining to indirect costs • Study will assess extent to which indirect costs are charged • The law also provides USDA the authority to issue regulations based on the results of the study

  24. Indirect Cost Implementation • Guidance will be issued by June 13, 2011 (no later than 180 days after the date of enactment) • Report to Congress on results of the Study by October 1, 2013

  25. Categorical Eligibility of Foster Children • Section 102: Categorical eligibility of foster children • Intent: Extend categorical eligibility to any foster child whose care and placement is the responsibility of the State or who is placed by a court with a caretaker household.

  26. Foster Children Overview • Applies only to formal foster care arrangements • A foster child is categorically eligible and may be certified without an application • Households may choose to include the foster child as a household member, as well as any personal income earned by the foster child, on the same application that includes their non-foster children • The presence of a foster child does not convey eligibility of free meals to other children in the household

  27. Foster Children Implementation • Effective October 1, 2010 • LEAs and other child nutrition institutions must implement as soon as possible for any foster children identified by foster agencies or who submit new applications • All household applications and supporting materials must be updated to reflect these changes no later than July 1, 2011

  28. Foster Children Timeline • Implementation memo issued January 31, 2011 • Q&A expected March 2011 • FNS will provide updated prototype applications and supporting materials online March 2011 • Eligibility guidance updated Spring 2011

  29. Privacy Protection • Section 301: Privacy Protection • Intent: Increase Privacy Protection

  30. Privacy Protection Overview • Removes the requirement to provide complete Social Security Number on applications • Only requires the last four digits of the signing adult’s Social Security Number • Removes collection of SSN for verification

  31. Privacy Protection Implementation • Effective October 1, 2010 • Implement as soon as possible for any new applications • All household applications and supporting materials must be updated to reflect these changes by July 1, 2011 • If unable to print all new material SA must develop alternate mechanisms for implementation

  32. Privacy Protection Timeline • Implementation memo issued February 15, 2011 • Updated prototype applications March 2011 • Eligibility guidance updated Spring 2011

  33. Independent Review of Applications • Section 304: Independent review of applications • Intent: Increase the accuracy of eligibility determinations in LEAs that demonstrate high levels of administrative errors.

  34. Independent Review Overview • Requires LEAs that demonstrate high levels of, or a high risk for, administrative error to have an additional person independently review eligibility determinations before sending out household notifications • Establishes annual reporting requirements for each LEA required to conduct independent review of applications • State agencies must annually report independent review results to USDA

  35. Independent Review Timeline • Implementation memo Winter 2012 • Proposed rule Winter 2012 • Final rule Winter 2013

  36. Fines • Section 303: Fines for Violating Program Requirements • Intent: To provide an additional method for enforcing program compliance

  37. Fines Overview • Requires USDA to establish criteria and set the amount of fines that may be imposed upon States, SFAs or schools for gross mismanagementof any of the programs authorized under the National School Lunch Act or the Child Nutrition Act.

  38. Formula for Fine Limits • The amount of the fine cannot exceed: • 1 percent of the amount of meal reimbursements or funds for State administrative expenses earned during the fiscal year for the first finding of one or more program violations; • 5 percent of the funds described in (a) for the second finding of one or more program violations; and • 10 percent of the funds described in (a) for the third or subsequent finding of one or more program violations.

  39. Fines Timeline • Proposed Rule Spring 2012 • Final Rule Spring 2013

  40. Disqualified Schools and Institutions • Section 362: Disqualified Schools, Institutions, and Individuals • Intent: To allow disqualification to apply across the Child Nutrition Programs

  41. Disqualification Overview • Prohibits any school, institution, or individual that is terminated from one of the Child Nutrition Programs and on a list of disqualified institutions and individuals from participating in or administering any of the Child Nutrition Programs

  42. Disqualification Timeline • Proposed Rule: Spring 2012 • Final Rule: Spring 2013

  43. Ensuring the Safety of School Meals • Section 308: Ensuring the Safety of School Meals • Intent: Improve the notification and timeliness of food safety actions

  44. Safety of Meals Overview • Improve Hold and Recall Procedures • Address the role of processors and distributors • Work with States to increase the timeliness of food recall notifications to school food authorities • Develop guidelines with FSA and AMS for administrative holds on USDA foods

  45. Safety of Meals Implementation • No regulations will be written • Guidelines: Revision of “Responding to a Food Recall” • will include processors and distributors • will improve communication with States • Grants to improve State recall communications with SFAs

  46. Safety of Meals Timeline • Revision of “Responding to a Food Recall” is in process • Grants to States to improve communication will be available in FY 2012 • Guidelines for administrative holds exist • Update will include FSA

  47. School Breakfast Program Expansion • Section 105: Grants for expansion of school breakfast program • Intent: Expanding the school breakfast program

  48. Breakfast Expansion Overview • Authorizes appropriations for grants to State agencies for subgrants to local educational agencies to establish, maintain or expand the School Breakfast Program • Grants not funded through Reauthorization • The President’s 2012 budget requests $10 million for these grants

  49. Organic Food Pilot • Section 210: Organic food pilot program • Intent: Increase quantity of organic food in programs through competitive grants to SFAs • This provision is not funded.

  50. Professional Standards for School Food Service Personnel • Section 306: Professional standards for school food service personnel • Intent: Establish professional education and training standards for certification of local school food service directors and personnel, and criteria and standards for the selection of State Directors