The State of Texas will be implementing what is known as the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) beginning with the 2014–2015 school year. The CEP is related to child nutrition programs and has been created to:
- improve access to free school
meals in eligible high-poverty local education agencies and schools and
- eliminate the administrative burden
of collecting household applications for free and reduced-price meals (these
applications are not collected for participating campuses).
If your school district or charter school decides to use the CEP in the 2014–2015 school year, the CEP data your district or school reports to the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) will impact state compensatory education (SCE) funding for the 2015–2016 school year. The Texas Education Agency will use the count of students eligible for meals fully reimbursed by the TDA in the calculation of students eligible for SCE funding. Students whose meals are reimbursed at the “paid rate” will not be counted. For campuses not using the CEP, we will continue to determine SCE funding using TDA-provided prior-year counts of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, and counts from districts and charter schools using alternative reporting methods such as alternative basic monthly claims.
You can find more information about the CEP on the TDA website at http://squaremeals.com/Programs/NationalSchoolLunchProgram/CommunityEligibilityProvision.aspx. A CEP Frequently Asked Questions document can also be accessed at that web page.
If you have questions about reporting of CEP information, contact the TDA at 877-TEX-MEAL or Squaremeals@TexasAgriculture.gov. If you have questions about the CEP as it relates to SCE funding, please contact Ashley Behnke at (512) 463-4834 or Ashley.Behnke@tea.texas.gov.