This final rule requires certain local educational agencies participating in the National School Lunch Program to conduct an independent review of initial eligibility determinations for free and reduced price school meals. Additionally, this final rule requires each affected local educational agency to submit to the relevant state agency the results of the reviews including the number and percentage of reviewed applications for which the eligibility determinations changed and the type of change made. State agencies are required to submit to the Food and Nutrition Service, a report describing the results of the second reviews in their state.
These changes respond to amendments made to the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act by section 304 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 which requires that local educational agencies demonstrating high levels of, or a high risk for, administrative error associated with certification, verification, and other administrative processes, have an individual or entity independently review the initial eligibility determinations for free and reduced price school meals for accuracy prior to sending out household notifications of eligibility or ineligibility. This final rule is expected to reduce administrative errors in eligibility determinations for free and reduced price school meals.