2013 Direct Certification Improvement Grants

Last Modified: 03/25/2014

Direct Certification Grant Awards by Date

State Grant Type Award Date Amount
Kansas Tier 1 March 2013 $149,032.94
Colorado Tier 1 April 2013 $126,889.89
North Dakota Tier 1 April 2013 $  75,050.00
Utah Tier 1 May 2013 $  44,000.00
Iowa Tier 1 October 2013 $ 148,721.00
New Jersey Tier 1 October 2013 $  92,070.00
Rhode Island Tier 2 October 2013 $ 285,823.00
Washington Tier 2 January 2014 $ 989,232.38
Montana Tier 2 January 2014 $ 970,912.96
Idaho Tier 2 April 2014 $ 777,518.00

Grant Summaries

Colorado

Department of Education

The Colorado Department of Education has applied for a Tier 1 Direct Certification Improvement grant to improve their direct certification process. The State proposes to enhance matching capabilities through the procurement of a new Direct Certification system module as an addition to their current automated claim system. The new system update will allow for Soundex matching, the ranking of non-matches according to “degree of possible matchability,” and an improved data exchange with the SNAP office. The State also proposes to contract with a consultant firm to perform a gap analysis of their direct certification matching processes. Other activities proposed include providing system training and detailed resources for LEA staff and conducting targeted technical assistance for the LEAs identified during the gap analysis as having low direct certification match rates. The gap analysis, LEA training, and technical assistance will help ensure that the new system is being utilized to its full extent.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Otey at Otey_j@cde.state.co.us or (303) 866-6450.

Idaho

Department of Education

The Idaho State Department of Education has applied for a Tier 2 Implementation Grant to enhance their State-level direct certification system to improve their current matching process by providing assistance to local school districts to promote effective data transfer and improved handling of non-matches. Idaho’s proposed system enhancements will include additional matching algorithms, household identifiers, and improved look-up capabilities. Other enhancements include increased ability to store data, match data retention and the capability to produce reports based on stored data. Idaho will promote strong data sharing partnerships with the State’s SNAP, TANF and foster care programs to improve the quality of SNAP data, encourage greater matching frequency and provide training opportunities for local educational agency staff.

For more information, please contact Colleen Fillmore or TJ Goodsell at 208-332-6820.

Iowa

Department of Education

The Iowa Department of Education has applied for a Tier I Implementation Grant to improve their current matching process by providing assistance to local school districts to update student records in the State identification (ID) system. The grant activities proposed include: 1) initiating Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) for State IDs; 2) assisting districts in updating student information for all students; 3) resolving near matches from the updating process; and 4) updating the State’s record systems to align each student to only one State ID. These enhancements will result in more accurate data being submitted by local educational agencies (LEA) to the data pool used to match students with participant files from the State’s SNAP, TANF and foster care programs.

For more information, please contact Brad Buck at Brad.Buck@iowa.gov or (515) 281-3436.

Kansas

Department of Education

The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) applied for a Tier 1 Direct Certification Improvement grant to improve their direct certification process. The State proposes to help all their National School Lunch Program sponsors fully utilize their established direct certification system to reach and maintain the 95% rate benchmark with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Assistance in Kansas). Sponsor buy-in and use of the direct certification process will be increased through outreach, training, technical assistance and computer hardware and software solutions. KSDE specifically will target private schools in Kansas who traditionally have low direct certification rates. The project will also provide training to KSDE Child Nutrition and Wellness Program staff members, KSDE Information Technology programmer/analysts and trainers, point of sale software vendors, and other stakeholders.

For more information, please contact Cheryl Johnson at csjohnson@ksde.org or (785) 296-2276.

Montana

State Office of Public Instruction

The Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) has applied for a Direct Certification Improvement grant to improve their direct certification processes. Montana proposes to improve the techniques used to perform matching, incorporating additional student and eligibility data sources, augmenting their training resources and materials, conducting additional training for the district and OPI staff. Also improving the integration of their Direct Certification Application with their security system and other internal applications to improve the overall business processes used by Montana State and their districts to perform direct certification.

For more information, please contact Christine Emerson at 406 444-2501.

New Jersey

Department of Agriculture

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has applied for Tier I Implementation Grant funding to perform the following tasks: 1) a gap analysis of New Jersey’s enhanced State-level Direct Certification System to include a written report documenting recommendations for future improvements; 2) collaborate with State stakeholders in the New Jersey Department of Human Services to assess and evaluate new matching capabilities of the State SNAP system; and 3) collaborate with New Jersey Department of Education stakeholders to explore the viability of incorporating the State unique Student ID as an additional data matching element. New Jersey also has proposed expanding communication efforts with LEAs statewide, providing LEA training opportunities and resources, targeting LEAs for one-on-one technical assistance and implementing an LEA mentoring program.

For more information, please contact Melissa Ewell at Melissa.Ewell@ag.state.nj.us or (609) 777-1850.

North Dakota

Department of Public Instruction

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction has applied for a Tier 1 Direct Certification Improvement grant to improve their direct certification process. The State proposes to enhance their current school food authority (SFA) look-up process for direct certification, providing SFAs the capability to search statewide lists of eligible children. The State also plans to decrease direct certification determination and reporting errors by creating an automated Verification Summary Report (FNS 742) form to simplify the verification summary reporting process. In addition, a direct certification software upgrade will be completed to allow the State student enrollment reporting system to populate local student enrollment reporting systems with direct certification eligibility data, as well as to identify SNAP-eligible students separately from TANF- eligible students.

For more information, please contact Linda Schloer at lkschloer@nd.gov or (701) 328-4565.

Rhode Island

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) has applied for a Tier 2 Implementation grant to fund work to develop, implement, and integrate their new e-Direct Certification software into the Child Nutrition Program Connect system to interoperate with RIDE systems. Proposed grant activities will include working with Rhode Island’s Department of Human Services to obtain a list of unmatched students with sufficient identifying data to enable them to electronically or manually identify eligible students and match them with their LEAs. Rhode Island also has proposed to develop software technology enhancements to a web-based electronic gateway portal for their infrastructure management information system. Technology initiatives will focus on areas such as specialized LEA training, a system search feature, reports and automatic updates of student eligibility information.

For more information, please contact Cynthia Brown at Cynthia.Brown@ride.ri.govor (401) 222-4257.

Utah

State Office of Education

The Utah State Office of Education has applied for a Tier 1 Direct Certification Improvement grant to improve their direct certification process. The State proposes to make technology improvements to their current direct certification system, CNPweb. They are proposing to add additional functionality such as: 1) improving sibling matches; 2) adding the capability to identify and provide districts with newly enrolled student matches automatically on a daily basis; 3) identify possible matches between participating Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) students and students on their Foster Care districts enrollment lists; and 4) technology improvements to streamline their direct certification processes. The State has identified these goals to help the state towards meeting the 2013-2014 goal of directly certifying 95% of all school age SNAP participants for free meals.

For more information, please contact Charlene S. Allert at Charlene.Allert@schools.utah.gov or (801) 538-7563.

Washington

State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has applied for a Tier 2 Implementation Grant to improve their direct certification process. Washington State has proposed to enhance their direct certification system by developing a web-based statewide free and reduced price meal application tool. This web based application system will be one of continuing steps to use the applicant’s case number and match students with data received from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) containing children in Washington receiving SNAP/TANF and foster children. Households throughout the state will be able to easily access the online free and reduced price application. Once a student is matched within the student record database, the student can be automatically matched every year after until they graduate, as the system will recognize the student based on their state student identification number. Washington proposes that this system will reduce administrative errors associated with reviewing and approving meal applications, reduce the number of applications eligible for verification, approve households based on case numbers/foster children whenever possible, assist in tracking students who transfer between schools, save LEAs time and money, and provide a future opportunity for the state to conduct statewide verification.  

For more information, please contact Donna Parsons at 360 725-6200.