for purposes of NCLB accountability reporting, implementing supplemental educational services, and identifying priority for school choice. When annually ascertaining the eligibility of a CEO school to receive Title I funding and determining its Title I allocation, LEAs are instructed that the percentage of economically disadvantaged students is equal to the percentage of meals reimbursed at the free rate—that is, the product of the statutory multiplier specified in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (initially 1.6) and the percentage of “identified” students in the school during either the base year or a more recent year (up to a maximum of 100 percent). Provision 2 and 3 schools use the number of free and reduced-price students identified in the base year divided by enrollment in that year.

In our survey of Provision 2 and 3 districts (see Appendix E), the panel identified other uses of free and reduced-price data in addition to Title I and NCLB. One commonly mentioned program is E-rate.b Districts also noted the need for individually identifiable data for grants and for waived and reduced textbook, activity, and other fees for qualifying students. Typically, a family is asked to complete a waiver to allow sharing of individually identifiable eligibility information on free and reduced-price meal status (which otherwise is considered confidential) for purposes of obtaining waived and reduced fees and other benefits.


aFrom Department of Education memorandum to State Education Officers from Commissioner of Education, Hanely, May 20, 2011.

bThe Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, commonly known as E-Rate, is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission. It provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the United States in obtaining affordable telecommunications and Internet access. See
SOURCE: Prepared by the panel.

percentages for students who have exercised choice opportunities and left the district with the certification percentages for students who have remained enrolled in district schools. If certification data are no longer available because the district has already adopted the AEO, the district will be able to match enrollment lists with SNAP records to derive SNAP recipiency rates, as described above. Then, the district will be able to compare SNAP recipiency rates for students who have left and those who remain. Such comparisons will reveal whether school choice opportunities are disproportionately attracting students from higher- or lower-income families and changing the composition of students who remain enrolled in the district in terms of their eligibility for free or reduced-price meals.24


24 The analyses described can be performed for the schools in which the AEO has been or might be adopted, rather than for the whole district.

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