TABLE 5-1 Districts Operating Under Provision 2 or 3 in 2009-2010, Not in a Base Year

  Percentage Free or Reduced Price
  Less Than or Equal to 50% Greater Than 50%,
Less Than or Equal to 75%
Greater Than 75% Total
 Number 34 29 233    296
 Percentage 11 10 79  
Some Schools        
 Number 43 61 31    135
 Percentage 32 45 23  
Total 77 90 264    431
Total Districts in United States       12,257
Percentage of Total Districts Under Provision 2 or 3                 4

SOURCE: Prepared by the panel.

costs in their own situations. Should adoption of the AEO for a subset of schools be preferable to districtwide adoption, the district would have to complete an additional step of providing geographic boundaries for the applicable school attendance areas to the Census Bureau, which would prepare ACS estimates for those areas.

As demonstrated in the preceding chapter, however, ACS estimates are not sufficiently accurate for use in a one-size-fits-all version of the AEO. The remainder of this chapter briefly summarizes the reasons why the panel’s initial goal of a universal method could not be achieved and then provides a detailed description of a tailored approach to implementing the AEO for consideration by FNS. In the subset of districts that decides to investigate the AEO and for which accurate claiming percentages can be developed, it might still be possible to achieve the AEO’s advantages of providing universal free meals and eliminating applications. The panel’s recommendations for research and development in Chapter 6 are directed toward improvements in data and estimation methods that would enhance prospects for using the AEO more widely in the future.

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