districts that had implemented Provision 2 or 3 to obtain information about their reaction to these special provisions.

ORGANIZATION OF THE REPORT

Chapter 2 provides background on the school meals programs and examines quality issues associated with the programs’ operations. Chapter 3 describes the panel’s technical approach; it summarizes the framework used to evaluate estimates, describes the data collected, and outlines the analyses conducted. Chapter 4 provides the results of the panel’s analysis. It addresses the evaluation of systematic differences between ACS estimates and administrative data and the reasons for these discrepancies. It considers the precision of the estimates and relates that precision to year-to-year variation that school districts might expect when using the ACS and to year-to-year variation as observed in administrative data (an indication of the variation in reimbursement that school districts experience now). Chapter 4 also considers the impact of using the lagged data available from the ACS to determine reimbursement. Further, it provides an analysis (based on the limited data available) of differences in reimbursement that might be expected when using eligibility estimates to define claiming percentages instead of using the traditional participation-based claiming percentages. Chapter 5 provides the panel’s approach to developing and implementing a new provision based on the ACS (the AEO). It addresses how and where the AEO might be implemented now, as well as issues FNS should consider for future refinement of the AEO. Chapter 6 provides recommendations for future research and the provision of improved data by FNS, NCES, and the Census Bureau. Appendix A is a glossary of acronyms and terms used in the report. Appendixes B through G provide technical detail, while Appendix H contains biographical sketches of the panel members.



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