THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Office of P-20 Education Policy
In Section 747 of Division B of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (P.L. 116-94) (the Appropriations Act), enacted on December 20, 2019, Congress provides that only school food authorities (SFAs) that had a negative balance in the nonprofit school food service account as of December 31, 2019, shall be required to establish prices for paid lunches according to the Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) provisions in Section 12(p) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. 1760(p) and implemented in National School Lunch Program regulations at 7 CFR 210.14(e).
Consistent with the terms of the Appropriations Act, this memorandum provides notice that any SFA with a positive or zero balance in its nonprofit school food service account as of December 31, 2019, is exempt from PLE pricing requirements found at 7 CFR 210.14(e) for school year (SY) 2020-21. SFAs that had a negative balance in the nonprofit school food service account as of December 31, 2019, must follow PLE requirements when establishing their prices for paid lunches in SY 2020-21. This flexibility is currently in place for SY 2019-2020 (see https://www.fns.usda.gov/nslp/paid-lunch-equity-guidance-school-year-2019-20).
While SFAs that meet the Appropriations Act’s criteria are exempt from the PLE pricing requirements, all State agencies and SFAs must continue to report paid lunch prices as required in regulations at 7 CFR 210.14(e)(7). SFAs still maintain the discretion to complete the steps necessary to determine their target SY 2020-21 paid lunch price, consistent with Program regulations at 7 CFR 210.14(e), and adjust their paid meal prices accordingly.
SFAs with a positive or zero balance in its nonprofit school food service account as of December 31, 2019 and that wish to use the exemption from the PLE requirements for the 2020-2021 SY must:
- Send an email to the State Education Department (SED) Child Nutrition Program Administration at email@example.com stating that your SFA wishes to use the PLE exemption. Please be sure to indicate your SFA’s name and 12 digit SFA LEA Code.
- Attach the profit and loss statement from your SFA’s nonprofit school food service account as of December 31, 2019 to demonstrate that your SFA meets the requirement to use the exemption.
SFAs will receive an email indicating the status of the PLE exemption request. If approved, the approval email and the documentation submitted to the SED Child Nutrition Program Office must be maintained on file and be readily available for review. This PLE exemption is for the SY 2020-21 only.
Please note, the SY 2020-21 PLE tool and instructions will be provided in a separate communication.