mented. The approaches discussed below will require one or more interagency agreements between the Census Bureau and FNS that will address schedules for activities, resources that will be devoted to those activities, data use restrictions, and other issues ultimately determining whether recommended methods and procedures are operationally feasible.


As noted in Chapter 3, the Census Bureau maintains up-to-date school district boundary information and already provides special tabulations of the ACS for school districts. Furthermore, it provides estimates from its Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) Program for all school districts included in its geographical database. Hence, it should be relatively straightforward for the Census Bureau to prepare estimates for school districts according to specifications from the panel.

ACS Direct Estimates

The direct ACS-based estimates of eligibility described in Chapter 5, possibly with the indicated adjustments, are similar to data products already produced by the Census Bureau. These estimates would be based on 1-year, 3-year, and (eventually) 5-year ACS data. As noted in Chapter 5, 1-year ACS estimates will be publicly available only for school districts with a population greater than 65,000 (approximate school enrollment of 11,700). Three-year ACS estimates will be available for all school districts with a total population greater than 20,000 (approximate school enrollment of 3,600). Beginning in late 2010, 5-year estimates will be available for all school districts.

Model-Based Estimates

The panel’s work aims to result in model-based estimates of eligibility that are of sufficient accuracy to be considered for use in developing claiming percentages for determining reimbursements under Provision 4. The current SAIPE process, on which the panel’s work will be based, produces model-based estimates of poor school-age children that are publicly released for all school districts in the country. Should FNS decide that model-based estimates of eligibility could be used in developing claiming percentages for determining reimbursements to school districts under Provision 4, an interagency agreement with the Census Bureau would be needed for regularly providing estimates for the multiples of the poverty thresholds that are used for free and reduced-price school meals. Work would be needed by the Census Bureau to incorporate the panel’s meth-

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