1 year ago

School Breakfast Making it Work in Large School Districts


Only 15 districts did

Only 15 districts did not use community eligibility in school years 2015–2016 and 2016–2017: n Brentwood Union Free School District (NY) n Broward County Public Schools (FL) n Hillsborough County Public Schools (FL) n Inglewood Unified School District (CA) n Jersey City Public Schools (NJ) n Little Rock School District (AR) n Long Beach Unified School District (CA) n Mesa Public Schools (AZ) n Miami-Dade County Public Schools (FL) n Newark Public Schools (NJ) n Palm Beach County School District (FL) n Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (GA) n School District U-46 (IL) n Scottsdale School District (AZ) n Wake County Public School System (NC). In the 2015–2016 school year, and in its second year of nationwide availability, more than 18,000 high-poverty schools in nearly 3,000 school districts adopted community eligibility, an increase of about 4,000 schools compared to the prior school year. The momentum has not stopped; 2,700 more schools have already signed up for the program in the 2016–2017 school year. School districts adopting community eligibility experience a multitude of benefits. Community eligibility eliminates the need for school meal applications, relieving school districts from the administrative and financial burdens of processing and verifying these applications. By allowing all students, regardless of income, to eat a free school breakfast and lunch, the stigma associated with meanstesting these programs disappears and participation grows. With the administrative burden of processing school meal applications lifted, schools can redirect resources to improved nutrition, menu planning, and food procurement, resulting in better school meals. School districts can utilize a number of strategies to maximize the reach of community eligibility. For more information about this option and implementing best practices, visit FRAC’s website. How Community Eligibility Works Authorized by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the Community Eligibility Provision allows high-poverty schools to offer breakfast and lunch free of charge to all students and to realize significant administrative savings by eliminating school meal applications. Any district, group of schools in a district, or school with 40 percent or more “identified students” — children eligible for free school meals who already are identified by other means than an individual household application — can choose to participate. Identified students include: n Children directly certified for free school meals through data matching because their households receive SNAP, TANF, or FDPIR, and in some states, Medicaid benefits. n Children who are certified for free meals without an application because they are homeless, migrant, enrolled in Head Start, or in foster care. Community eligibility schools are reimbursed for meals served based on a formula. Because of evidence that the ratio of all eligible children to children in these identified categories would be 1.6 to 1, Congress built that into the formula. Reimbursements to the school are calculated by multiplying the percentage of identified students by 1.6 to determine the percentage of meals reimbursed at the federal free rate. For example, a school with 50 percent identified students would be reimbursed for 80 percent of the meals eaten at the free reimbursement rate (50 x 1.6 = 80), and 20 percent at the paid rate. School districts may also choose to participate districtwide or group schools however they choose if the district or group has an overall identified student percentage of 40 percent or higher. Find out which schools in your state or community are participating or eligible for the Community Eligibility Provision with FRAC’s database. 10 FRAC n School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts n n twitter@fractweets

Opportunity for Growth While breakfast participation is increasing nationally, there are still a number of districts that are falling short in reaching low-income students with school breakfast. Ten school districts in FRAC’s study served breakfast to fewer than 46 children per 100 who received school lunch. While the New York City Department of Education is on this list, it has made significant progress since last year. It has started to implement breakfast in the classroom throughout the district, and the school district experienced the second largest increase in school breakfast participation compared to the prior school year — 14,948 more students. Participation is expected to continue to increase as breakfast in the classroom is rolled out districtwide. Another lagging district that will likely make significant gains in the upcoming year is San Bernardino City School District (CA), which has adopted community eligibility in 50 of its 84 schools for school year 2016–2017. Ten Lowest Performing School Districts in School Breakfast Participation During SY 2015–2016 District Ratio of Low-Income Children in SBP to NSLP, SY 2015–2016 Broward County Public Schools (FL) 45.1 Waterbury Public Schools (CT) 43.4 Salt Lake City School District (UT) 43.2 Miami-Dade County Public Schools (FL) 42.9 Long Beach School District (CA) 41.0 School District U-46 (IL) 40.7 New York City Department of Education (NY) 39.5 Inglewood School District (CA) 37.2 San Bernardino City School District (CA) 36.1 Oakland School District (CA) 36.1 See Table B in the Appendix for a full list of ratios and rankings for all participating school districts. FRAC n School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts n n twitter@fractweets 11

School Breakfast Making it Work in Large School Districts
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