Arkansas Department of Education Preliminary Procedures for Community Eligibility Provision and National School Lunch State Categorical Funding

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Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Fiscal & Administrative Services
Regulatory Authority
Response Required
Charter Directors; Co-op Directors; Superintendents

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Memo Text

This Commissioner’s Memo and the attachments are for school districts and open-enrollment public charter schools considering the federal Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program.  The CEP provides an alternative approach for offering no cost school meals to all students in low income areas, instead of collecting individual applications for free and reduced-price meals.  Although each school district and open-enrollment public charter school should consider the federal guidelines for CEP, another consideration in choosing to participate in CEP is the effect on national school lunch (NSL) state categorical funding.   During the current legislative session, changes to state law were proposed to allow calculation of NSL state categorical funding for those districts and charters choosing to participate in CEP.  If the legislative changes are enacted, rule changes will follow.  Subject to proposed law and rule changes, the attached draft procedures provide information regarding the proposed NSL state categorical funding calculation method for those school districts and open-enrollment public charter schools that participate in CEP.  Although the attached draft procedures are preliminary and non-binding, the information may be useful to school districts and open-enrollment public charter schools in making decisions regarding CEP.   The progress of law and rule changes will be announced through additional Commissioner’s Memos.    If you have any questions concerning the CEP program please contact Patricia Winders in the Child Nutrition Unit at or 501-324-9502.     For questions related to NSL state categorical funding, please contact Cindy Hollowell at or 501-682-4484. 

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