Appendix A

Glossary of Acronyms and Terms

ACRONYMS

ACS American Community Survey
AEO* ACS Eligibility Option
APEC Access, Participation, Eligibility, and Certification Study (U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food and Nutrition Service, 2007b)
   
BRR* blended reimbursement rate
   
CAPI computer-assisted personal interviewing
CATI computer-assisted telephone interviewing
CCD Common Core of Data
CEO* Community Eligibility Option
CPI Consumer Price Index
CPS Current Population Survey
CPS ASEC Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement
CV coefficient of variation
   
ESEA Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
   
FDPIR Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
FNS Food and Nutrition Service
FRPL free or reduced-price lunch


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Appendix A Glossary of Acronyms and Terms ACRONYMS ACS American Community Survey AEO* ACS Eligibility Option APEC Access, Participation, Eligibility, and Certification Study (U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food and Nutrition Service, 2007b) BRR* blended reimbursement rate CAPI computer-assisted personal interviewing CATI computer-assisted telephone interviewing CCD Common Core of Data CEO* Community Eligibility Option CPI Consumer Price Index CPS Current Population Survey CPS ASEC Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement CV coefficient of variation ESEA Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 FDPIR Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations FNS Food and Nutrition Service FRPL free or reduced-price lunch 225

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226 USING ACS DATA TO EXPAND ACCESS TO THE SCHOOL MEALS PROGRAMS GED general educational development GVF generalized variance function IOM Institute of Medicine LEA* local education agency NCES National Center for Education Statistics NCLB No Child Left Behind Act of 2004 NSLP National School Lunch Program PUMA Public Use Microdata Area PUMS Public Use Microdata Sample (file) QC quality control RMSD root mean squared difference SABINS School Attendance Boundary Information System SAIPE Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (program) SBP School Breakfast Program SE standard error SFA* school food authority SIPP Survey of Income and Program Participation SNA School Nutrition Association SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the Food Stamp Program) SNDA-III School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study III (U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food and Nutrition Service, 2007a) SSI Supplemental Security Income TANF Temporary Assistance for Needy Families TIGER Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (system) UNO University of Nebraska at Omaha NOTE: An asterisk indicates that the term is defined below.

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APPENDIX A 227 TERMS1 ACS Eligibility In this report, the term used to refer to a new special Option provision that would provide free meals to all children. Schools, groups of schools, or school districts establish claiming percentages for federal reimbursement using American Community Survey (ACS) estimates for eligibility in conjunction with information collected during a base-year trial period. During the base year, applications are taken, and the district makes eligibil- ity determinations, conducts verification, and counts meals by type (but does not charge for meals). After the base year, no new eligibility determinations or ver- ification checks are required, and the district counts only the total number of reimbursable meals served each day. Application Local education agencies send students' parents a letter just prior to or at the beginning of a school year describing the school meals programs, inviting them to apply, and providing an application form. The application requests information about program par- ticipation, family composition, and family income. School or district officials review the applications submitted and, within 10 working days of receiving an application, make a determination as to whether the child should be approved for free or reduced- price meals. If an application lists a legitimate case number for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program) or other approved program, the student is certified as being categorically eligible for free meals. Approved Students who have been directly certified as eligible for free meals or who have applied for benefits and have been determined to be eligible for either free or reduced-price meals. 1The panel determined which terms used in the school meals programs to include here based on its experience in preparing this report.

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228 USING ACS DATA TO EXPAND ACCESS TO THE SCHOOL MEALS PROGRAMS Blended The average reimbursement per meal served in a given reimbursement month or year. It uses the approved reimbursement rate rates per certification category in that year and claim- ing rates associated with the tradi tional method or alternatives such as Provision 2, Provision 3, the AEO, or the CEO (see claiming percentages). Categorical Eligibility arising from the participation of a student's eligibility family in means-tested programs, such as the Supple- mental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). A student also is categorically eligible if a family member is enrolled in a Head Start or Even Start Program (based on meeting that program's low-income criteria) or if the student is (1) a homeless child, as determined by the school district's homeless liaison or by the director of a homeless shelter; (2) a migrant child, as determined by the state or local Migrant Education Program coordinator; or (3) a runaway child who is receiving assistance from a program under the Run- away and Homeless Youth Act and is identified by the local educational liaison. Certification The process of determining which enrolled students are eligible for the school meals programs. There are two subprocesses: application and determination of categorical eligibility. CertifiedSee approved. Denotes a student who has been des- ignated by the school as certified to obtain free or reduced-price meals through an application pro- cess or categorical eligibility. A student who has not applied for free or reduced-price meals and is not determined to be eligible through categorical eligibil- ity is certified as eligible only for full-price meals. Claiming Under the traditional school meals programs and percentages Provisions 1, 2, and 3, the percentages of meals served in the three eligibility categories (free, reduced price, and full price). In Philadelphia, claiming rates are based on eligibility percentages determined from a

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APPENDIX A 229 socioeconomic survey. Under the Community Eligi- bility Option, the claiming percentage for free meals is the percentage of students who are identified (see below), the claiming percentage for reduced-price meals is zero, and the claiming percentage for free meals is 100 minus the claiming percentage for free meals. Claiming percentages are called claiming rates if expressed as proportions. Claiming rates See claiming percentages. Community A new provision authorized in the Healthy, Hunger- Eligibility Free Kids Act of 2010. A district is eligible to partici- Option pate if 40 percent or more of enrolled students are identified as eligible for free meals (see definition below), and are reimbursed based on this percent- age. This provision requires offering free meals to all students. There are no base years. Districts must conduct direct certification every 4 years but may do so more often. Direct The process by which local education agencies iden- certification tify categorically eligible students based primarily on their participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). The 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act required that all school districts establish a system of direct certification of students from households that receive benefits from SNAP by school year 2008-2009. Some states or dis- tricts also make use of TANF or other program data as part of direct certification. For direct certification, states or districts match lists of students (including names, addresses, etc.) with administrative data con- cerning individuals participating in SNAP or other assistance programs. Students matched in this way are directly certified as being eligible for free school meals. Eligible Students are eligible for free school meals if their family's "current" monthly income is no greater than 130 percent of the poverty level or if they are cat-

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230 USING ACS DATA TO EXPAND ACCESS TO THE SCHOOL MEALS PROGRAMS egorically eligible. Current income requested on the application form "may be for the current month, the amount projected for the first month the application is made for, or for the month prior to application."2 Students are eligible for reduced-price meals if their family's current income is greater than 130 percent but no greater than 185 percent of the poverty level. All other students are eligible only for full-price meals. An eligible student is not necessarily certified. Identified A term used in conjunction with the Community Eli- students gibility Option. Identified students are those eligible for free meals by means other than applications, such as direct certification or through local agencies that provide lists (migrant, homeless, runaway, and so on). Local The public board of education or other public or education private nonprofit authority legally constituted in a agency state for the administrative control of public or pri- vate nonprofit schools in a political subdivision of the state; an administrative agency or a combination of school districts or counties that is recognized by the state; any other public or private nonprofit institution or agency having administrative control and direction of a public or private nonprofit school or residential child care institution; or the state education agency in a state or territory in which the state education agency is the sole education agency for all public or private nonprofit schools. The local education agency is responsible for the application, certification, and verification activities of the NSLP and SBP. Meal count The total number of meals served that satisfy nutri- tional requirements of the school meals programs by eligibility category (free, reduced price, and full price). Under the traditional school meals pro- grams, cashiers determine whether a student's meal qualifies and whether the student is eligible for a free, reduced-price, or full-price meal. Meal counts recorded by each cashier are aggregated to provide 2Eligibility Manual for School Meals, U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food and Nutrition Service (2011:40).

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APPENDIX A 231 the school's daily meal counts. This process provides the meal counts maintained in school records that are used to determine federal reimbursements under the school meals programs. Meals served As collected on the FNS-10 form, the total number of meals served in a time period (usually a month) and the number of meals served in a given eligibil- ity category (free, reduced price, or full price). These amounts are divided by the number of days meals are served to derive the average daily meals served. The number of meals served is the aggregate of daily meal counts over the time period. Nutrition School lunches and breakfasts must meet the applica- standards ble recommendations of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines. New standards were adopted in January 2012 based on recommendations from the National Research Council (2009) and as authorized in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The new standards seek to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat fluid milk in the school menu; reduce the levels of sodium, satu- rated fat, and trans fat in school meals; and meet the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements.3 Overt The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act identification (Section 7 9B(10):3-22) states: "(10) No physical seg- regation of or other discrimination against any child eligible for a free lunch or a reduced price lunch under this subsection shall be made by the school nor shall there be any overt identification of any child by special tokens or tickets, announced or published list of names, or by other means."4 Participation The average daily number of meals served in a cat- egory (free, reduced price, or full price) divided, in official estimates, by .927 (to adjust for average daily attendance). 3See http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-26/pdf/2012-1010.pdf. 4See http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/Legislation/NSLA-10-2008.pdf.

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232 USING ACS DATA TO EXPAND ACCESS TO THE SCHOOL MEALS PROGRAMS Participation rate Computed as the average daily number of meals served by category (free, reduced price, full price) in a month divided by the product of the total number of students approved in that category and the aver- age daily attendance factor of .927. Provision 1 Schools enrolling at least 80 percent of students who are approved for free or reduced-price meals can par- ticipate in Provision 1. They are permitted to certify students' eligibility for free or reduced-price meals for 2 years instead of reestablishing eligibility every year. Provision 2 Schools, groups of schools, and entire school districts can participate in Provision 2. Participating schools establish claiming percentages for federal reimburse- ment through information collected during a base period and serve all meals at no charge for a 4-year period. The first year is the base year, in which the school makes eligibility determinations, conducts verification, and takes meal counts by type (but does not charge for meals). During the next 3 years, the school performs no new eligibility determinations or verification checks and counts only the total number of reimbursable meals served each day. Reimburse- ment is based on the total number of meals served and the claiming percentages that were observed in the same month of the base year. Provision 3 Schools, groups of schools, and school districts pro- vide free meals to all students for a 4-year period and receive the same level of federal cash and com- modity assistance as they received in the base year, with some adjustment for enrollment, the number of operating days, and inflation. The base year does not count as one of the 4 years; it is the last year the school made eligibility determinations, counted reim- bursable meals by type, and charged for the meals. For the subsequent 4-year period, schools must serve meals to all participating students at no charge, and they do not make additional eligibility determina- tions or conduct additional verification checks.

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APPENDIX A 233 School district Commonly denotes the entity responsible for admin- istration of the school meals programs and reporting to the U.S. Department of Education at the local level. That entity may be officially known as the school food authority or the local education agency. School food The governing body responsible for the administra- authority tion of one or more schools and having the legal authority to operate the school meals programs in those schools. School year The school year straddles 2 calendar years, and offi- cial start and stop dates vary. Official statistics on the school meals programs typically cover 9 months of the year, from September through May. Verification A process required by each local education agency (LEA) that participates in and takes applications for the school meals programs. The LEA is required to conduct an annual verification of 3 percent or 3,000 (whichever is smaller) of the applications approved and on file as of October 1 of the current school year, unless the state agency conducts the verification. The households that submitted the applications selected for verification are required to submit documentation of income for any point in time between the month prior to application and the time the household is required to provide income documentation. LEAs make at least one follow-up attempt with households that do not respond. Eligibility is revoked for stu- dents in households that fail to provide the required documentation. The outcomes of verification studies are reported annually on the FNS-742 form.

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