Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program Report to Congress: State Implementation Progress, SY 2014-15
This report responds to the requirement of PL 110-246 to assess the effectiveness of state and local efforts to directly certify children for free school meals. Direct certification is a process conducted by the states and by local educational agencies to certify eligible children for free meals without the need for household applications.
The Second Access, Participation, Eligibility, and Certification Study (APEC II): Estimating and Validating Statistical Models for Updating Estimates of Improper Payments in the NSLP and SBP
Statistical models were designed to estimate national improper payments due to certification error on an annual basis using district-level data. This enables FNS to update its estimates of national improper payment rates for the NSLP and SBP in future years without having to conduct full rounds of primary data collection.
The Special Nutrition Program Operations Study is a multiyear study designed to provide the Food and Nutrition Service with a snapshot of current state and school food authority policies and practices of the school meal programs, including information on school meal standards, competitive foods standards, professional standards, school lunch pricing and accounting, and Smarter Lunchrooms activities.
The information in this second year report (school year 2012-13), the first year new lunch standards were implemented, will provide data for observing the improvements resulting from the implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Data was collected from a survey of all state child nutrition directors and a nationally representative sample of school food authorities.
Examining the Potential to Expand Data Matching in the School Meal Program Eligibility and Verification Processes
This White Paper examines whether any additional means-tested programs might be feasible for use in the direct certification of school-age children participating in school meals or for verification of household income on meal applications.
Approaches to Measuring Erroneous Payments in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program At The State Level
The second Access, Participation, Eligibility and Certification Study (APEC II) included a follow-on report that provided statistically-derived state-level estimates of school meals erroneous payments. However, while APEC II provided a rough indicator of relative risk for groups of states (e.g., higher than average, about average, lower than average), it was not a state-representative direct measure, and creating actual annual measures of such erroneous payments at the state level using APEC methodology is cost-prohibitive. This report explores alternative approaches to developing measurement-based state-specific estimates that are responsive to year-to-year changes in the actual underlying rate in each state. It also provides cost and burden estimates for the implementation of each of these methods.
This is the 11th in a series of annual reports that examines the administrative accuracy of eligibility determinations and benefit issuance for free or reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program.
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.
This series of research briefs examines best practices in school food authorities' implementation of key provisions and their impacts in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, including fruits and vegetables, plate waste, sodium, participation, revenue, whole grains, smart snacks, and a special view of obesity.