Year 2 Demonstration Impacts of Using Medicaid Data to Directly Certify Students for Free School Meals
The Food and Nutrition Service conducted the Direct Certification with Medicaid (DC-M) demonstration that enables selected States and districts to use household income data from Medicaid files to directly certify students for free school meals. This report focuses on the experiences of States and districts conducting DC-M during School Year (SY) 2013-2014, the second year of the demonstration. It examines whether DC-M leads to changes in the percentage of students certified, the number of meals served, Federal reimbursements, and certification costs incurred by districts. It also assesses State-level administrative costs and identifies the challenges that States and districts face when implementing DC-M.
The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 permits direct verification of school meal applications and requires the Food and Nutrition Service to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of direct verification by school districts.