6-20-2303 (14) states the following:
(A) “National school lunch students” means those students
or the percentage of enrolled students from low socioeconomic backgrounds as
indicated by eligibility for free or reduced-price meals under the National
School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1751 et seq., as determined on October 1 of each
previous school year and submitted to the Division of Elementary and Secondary
Education, unless the school district is identified by the Division of
Elementary and Secondary Education as participating in the special assistance
certification and reimbursement alternative implemented under 42 U.S.C. §
(B) If the school district is participating under 42
U.S.C. § 1759a, then for purposes of funding under § 6-20-2305(b), such a
school district's annual percentage of national school lunch students shall be
equal to the percentage submitted in the base year, which means the last school
year for which eligibility determinations were made and in accordance with
rules adopted by the state board.
(C) The state board may promulgate rules as necessary to
meet the federal requirements under 42 U.S.C. § 1759a in order to enable the
school districts and open-enrollment public charter schools to fully
participate in federal and state programs;
not utilizing Provision II or CEP, ESA funding is based upon the percent of
students in the district that qualify for free or reduced lunches as of October
1 of the previous year.
2023-2024 school year (Fiscal Year 24), the ESA funding for a district
is based on the percent of students that qualify for free or reduced lunches as
of October 1, 2022. These numbers are reported as part of Cycle 2.
enroll after October 1, 2022, they should not be included in the percent
of students used to calculate ESA funding. Additionally, free or reduced
eligibility determinations that occur after October 1, are not to be
included in the Cycle 2 submission.
flexibility has been offered to SFAs for SY 2022-2023 that allows districts to
carry over the meal status from the most recent eligibility established back to
2019-2020. The carryover will last up to 30 operating days in SY 2022-2023 or
until a new eligibility has been established, whichever comes first. For more
information refer to Commissioner’s
Memo CNU 22-029.
districts should ensure that all students who qualify for free or reduced
lunches have the paperwork and documentation turned into the district no later
than October 1 and reported correctly in their district Cycle 2 report, to
ensure access to the ESA funding available.
fiscal session of 2022, special language was passed to assist districts with
the transition from the Seamless Summer Option (extended through the pandemic)
back to the National School Lunch Program. Notwithstanding the provisions
established under Arkansas Code § 6-20-2305(b)(4), for the 2022-23 School Year,
(Fiscal Year 2023), a public school district shall not receive less
Enhanced Student Achievement Funding than the amount it received in Fiscal Year
2022. Any public school district entitled to Enhanced Student Achievement
Funding above the amount that was received in Fiscal Year 2022 due to an
increased number of identified national school lunch students shall receive the
Enhanced Student Achievement Funding amount as calculated under Arkansas Code §
6-20-2305(b)(4). The provisions of the special language remain in effect
only from July 1, 2022 through June 30,2023.
information concerning the calculation of ESA funds can be found in the Rules
Governing Student Special Needs Funding.