ATTENTION CHILD NUTRITION DIRECTOR AND COUNSELORS
In reference to Commissioners Memo COM-18-002, dated July 11, 2017, Act 1118 of 2017, became effective on August 1, 2017, and amends provisions of the Arkansas code concerning concurrent credit. Students who are eligible for free or reduced priced meals, based on meal eligibility status under the National School Lunch Act, shall not be required to pay any of the costs up to a maximum of six credit hours of endorsed concurrent enrollment courses for courses that are taught: (i) on the grounds of the public school district in which the student is enrolled; and (ii) by a teacher, employed by the public school district in which the student is enrolled.
In order to provide this opportunity to free and reduced eligible students, district determining officials are required to provide specific data regarding the eligibility status of such students.
Determining officials are reminded that the information sought is that the student is eligible for free or reduced meal status. The information does not need to reveal the manner in which the student is free (directly certified, income based, or categorically eligible based on migrant, homeless, or foster child lists) nor does the information need to reveal if the student is specifically free or reduced meal status.
According to 7CFR 245.6(f)(2) Student names and eligibility status may be disclosed, without parent or guardian consent, to a Federal or State education program. Prior to disclosing individual eligibility information, determining officials should enter into a Memorandum of Understanding or other agreement with all involved parties, including officials who administer the Child Nutrition Programs and officials who administer the overall education functions. This agreement would specify:
- the names of the individuals who would have access to the information,
- how the information would be used in implementing a Federal education program,
- how the information would be protected from unauthorized uses and third-party disclosures.
- the agreement would also include a statement of the penalties for misuse of the information.
See attached sample Agreement for Disclosure of Free and Reduced Price Information (from USDA Eligibility Guidance, July 2017, Appendix C, pages 123-127).
For more information regarding disclosure of eligibility status, refer to the Eligibility Manual for School Meals, Determining and Verifying Eligibility, USDA, July 18, 2017 available on the Arkansas Department of Education website.
Provision 2 and Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) must use an income verification form and 2017-2018 USDA Eligibility Guidelines to determine individual student eligibility. See attached Income Verification Form and USDA Income Eligibility Guidelines.
If you have questions regarding procedures or confidentiality requirements regarding concurrent credit guidelines, please email your Child Nutrition Unit Area Specialist.
Agreement for Disclosure of Free and Reduced Price Information
Income Verification Form
USDA Income Eligibility Guidelines 2017-2018 School Year