This final rule adds four flexibilities to the hiring standards for new school nutrition program directors in small local educational agencies (LEAs) and new state directors of school nutrition programs under the Professional Standards regulations for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.
- First, to address hiring challenges faced by small LEAs, which are those with 2,499 or fewer students, this rule requires relevant food service experience rather than school nutrition program experience for new school nutrition program directors.
- Second, it provides state agencies with discretion to consider documented volunteer or unpaid work as relevant experience for new school nutrition program directors in LEAs with 2,499 or fewer students.
- Third, it gives state agencies discretion to accept less than the required years of food service experience when an applicant for a new director position in an LEA with fewer than 500 students has the minimum required education.
- Lastly, this rule adds flexibility to the hiring standards for state directors of school nutrition programs by allowing state agencies to consider applicants with either a bachelor's or advanced degree in specified fields.
These changes are expected to expand the pool of candidates qualified to serve as leaders in the school nutrition programs while continuing to ensure that school nutrition professionals are able to perform their duties effectively and efficiently.
- Correction (Issued March 7, 2019)