Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)


Hello. My name is Chelsey Cooper and I am a School
Nutrition Program Specialist in the California Department of Education- which I will refer
to as the CDE- Nutrition Services Division. I am going to provide you with some basic
information on the Community Eligibility Provision, also known as the CEP. The CEP is a four-year reimbursement option
for eligible high-poverty local educational agencies referred to as LEAs and schools,
and became available beginning in School Year 2014–15 as a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free
Kids Act of 2010. It is a provision, like Provision 1, Provision
2, and Provision 3, that makes it easier for schools with a high percentage of needy students
to provide two meals a day to all students at no charge. An LEA can decide if they want schools to
participate individually in the CEP, if they want to group some schools together in order
to meet eligibility, or if they want the entire LEA to participate. While on the CEP, schools serve breakfast
and lunch at no cost to all students. The reason why LEAs are so interested in the
CEP is because of the enormous benefits that this provision brings them. While on CEP, you will never collect a meal
application or perform verification processing activities. This reduces district administrative costs
related to collecting and processing applications, completing the verification process, and tracking
students based on meal eligibility status. Since all students receive breakfast and lunch
at no cost, overt identification and unpaid meal charges are eliminated. Schools on CEP have also reported increased revenue. These schools have guaranteed reimbursement
percentages that will never go below the percentage they established in their first year, and
the flexibility to further increase revenue as additional needy students are identified
during the four-year cycle. Lastly and most importantly, students who
have access to meals and nutrition tend to perform better academically, have better health,
and maintain better school attendance. To qualify to participate in the CEP: Schools
must have an identified student percentage of at least 40 percent, based on enrollment,
as of April 1 of the school year prior to implementing the CEP. I will explain how to determine your ISP on
the next slide. When determining your site’s ISP, you cannot
round up. For example, a percentage of 39.98 percent
does not meet the threshold and would not qualify for the CEP. Schools must agree to serve breakfast and
lunch at no cost to all students. Lastly, the LEA must have a history of administering
the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program in compliance with the program
regulations. The ISP is determined by dividing the number
of directly certified students, and those students who are certified as foster, homeless,
migrant, runaway, or participating in the Head Start Programs, by total number of
enrolled students. These students must be listed on either a
California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System, also known as CALPADS, or a local
county list. You may not use meal applications to determine
your ISP. This data must be reflective of April 1st
of the year prior to implementing the CEP. You may include all students directly certified
throughout the school year up to April 1. So if a student was listed on your October
list, but for some reason does not show up on your March list, you may still count that
student towards your ISP as long as that student is still enrolled on April 1st.You may also
use Medi-Cal free students that appear on your CALPADS list. Please note you may not use Medi-Cal reduced
students, only Medi-Cal free, because the ISP is based on how many students are certified
as free. Districts have the option to implement CEP
at a single site, a group of sites, or district-wide. If you are interested in implementing CEP
at a single site, you would take all of your directly certified students from that individual
site and divide by the total enrollment of that site. If you are interested in grouping, let’s
say, three sites together, you would take all of the directly certified students from
those three sites and divide by the total enrollment of all three sites to determine
your group ISP. When grouping schools together, you may include
schools with ISPs lower than 40 percent as long as the group ISP is a minimum of 40 percent. You may not round up when calculating the ISP. When participating in CEP: Reimbursement for
meals served is based on the ISP times the multiplier, which is currently set at 1.6. The multiplier is a factor set by the USDA. Schools electing the CEP are guaranteed to maintain the same multiplier for the full four-year cycle. The ISP multiplied by the multiplier equals
the percentage of meals served to be claimed at the free reimbursement rate. The remaining percentage of meals are claimed at the paid rate. No meals are claimed at the reduced-price rate. Let us look at how the ISP and the multiplier
are used in claiming meals served. Assume a school had a 50 percent ISP as of
April 1, and is implementing the CEP for the following school year. The multiplier established by the USDA for
schools implementing the CEP is currently 1.6 Multiply the ISP by the multiplier: 50 times
1.6 equals 80 percent of meals served will be reimbursed at the free rate. The remaining 20 percent of the meals served
will be reimbursed at the paid rate. Remember, no meals are ever claimed at the
reduced-price rate when on the CEP. Schools or a group of schools with an ISP
of 62.5 percent or higher will be eligible for reimbursement at the free meal rate for
all meals served when using a 1.6 multiplier. That’s because 62.5 percent times 1.6 equals
100 so 100 percent of meals served will be claimed at the free rate. The free claiming percentage is capped at
100 percent regardless of how high the ISP may be. One of the concerns that schools have when
implementing the CEP is that, since they are no longer collecting meal applications, they
will not have the data they need for the local control funding formula, or LCFF. Schools participating in the CEP, as with
all provisions, still need to collect their students’ individual socio-economic status
to determine funding for the LCFF. The way we do that is through the alternate
income data collection form. This form is much simpler to fill out and
collects the data you need for the LCFF. Sample Household Income Data Collection Forms
are available for calculating the school’s LCFF needs. They are posted on the CDE’s LCFF Frequently
Asked Questions Web page at: https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/lc/lcfffaq.asp#PROV2and3. This link is available in the Show More section
below. It is important to note that processing these
forms cannot be paid for with cafeteria funds, and you cannot reference the NSLP or SBP on
the alternate income form. These forms must stay completely separate
from the federal meal programs. You are allowed to establish an LCFF base year. This means that you only need to collect these
alternate income forms once every four years. The data collected in year one may be used
for LCFF in years two, three, and four of your CEP cycle. You would only need to collect forms from
new incoming students in years two, three, and four. Also, you do not need to collect these forms
from students who are directly certified. The ISP is guaranteed to never go below the
ISP established in the first year of the CEP cycle. If the ISP increases as of April 1st of any
year of the four-year cycle, the school may apply to use the higher ISP to calculate reimbursement
claims for the following school years. Receiving the higher ISP for any year will
not be automatic. LEAs will need to apply for the higher ISP
each year or apply for a new “year one” to lock in that higher ISP for the next 4 years. As you know, Medi-Cal is now included on your
CALPADS direct certification list. As I mentioned earlier, you may use students
who appear as Medi-Cal free on your CALPADS list to count towards your ISP. You may not use students who are listed as
Medi-Cal reduced. LEAs or schools must agree to cover the difference
between serving meals at no charge to all students and the federal meal reimbursement. The use of nonfederal funds is necessary only
if the total amount of federal reimbursement through the CEP does not cover the costs of
serving all students meals at no cost. Some examples of nonfederal funding sources
are: profits from a la carte sales, in-kind contribution funds from outside sources such
as volunteer services or a cash donation. If your district is interested in applying
for CEP, set a reminder to pull your direct certification and total enrollment lists on April 1st. If April 1st falls on a weekend, you will
want to gather this data on the following Monday. Remember that your ISP includes the lists for homeless, foster, migrant, runaway, and Head Start. The deadline to apply for CEP is June 30 unless
further noted by listserv. For more information on the CEP, please visit
the CDE’s CEP Web page at: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/sn/cep.asp. This link is also available in the Show More
section below. There are two forms that you need to complete
in order to apply for CEP; forms SNP-19 and SNP-55. These forms are located in the CNIPS Download
Forms section. You can access CNIPS at https://www.cnips.ca.gov. This link is also available in the
Show More section below. For more information, please contact your
SNP county analyst. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Thank you for your time. This slide contains information on professional
standards crediting.

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