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Proposed Rule: Hiring Flexibility Under Professional Standards

Publication Date
Resource type
Proposed Rule
Comment Period End Date

This proposed rule would add four flexibilities to the hiring standards for new school nutrition program directors in small local educational agencies (LEAs) and new school nutrition program state directors under the professional standards regulations for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.

  • First, to address the hiring challenge faced by small LEAs, those with 2,499 or fewer students, this rule would require relevant food service experience rather than school nutrition program experience for new directors.
  • Second, it would provide state agencies with discretion to consider volunteer or unpaid work as relevant food service experience for new school nutrition program directors in small LEAs.
  • Third, to further assist LEAs with less than 500 students, this proposed rule would expand the existing regulatory flexibility which gives state agencies discretion to accept less than the required years of food service experience when an applicant for a new director position has the minimum required education.
  • Fourth, this rule would also add flexibility to the hiring standards for state directors of school nutrition programs by considering applicants with either a bachelor's or a master's degree in specific, relevant fields.

These proposed 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.

A Comparison of Hiring Standards from Existing Regulation to Proposed Rule can be found here.

Page updated: November 16, 2021