THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Office of P-20 Education Policy
Several schools are now using multi-purpose student identification ID cards for a variety of student privileges. These may include buses, library services, and building entry, as well as for school meals. The ID card is encoded with the child's eligibility for school meals. The question often arises as to whether the child who receives free or reduced priced meals can be required to pay for replacement ID cards. While USDA has not issued formal guidance on the issue of the replacement of the cards, they have established the following policy:
"When possession of an ID card is required as a condition of enrollment in the school, and the card is used for multiple purposes (such as entry into the school, use of library facilities, etc.) in addition to meal services, the cost of the card may be charged to households. Also, schools must advise parents in advance of their policy regarding lost meal cards. The school's system must allow a minimum of three ticket replacements for lost or stolen cards, unless there is an alternate meal payment method in place, such as accompanying the student through the line. The school must maintain a list of students who have reported missing cards in the current school year and the number of occurrences for each student. The school must give advance written warning when preparing to refuse replacement cards, including an explanation of why the replacement is being refused. Meals must always be provided to preprimary and young primary students, or for any handicapped students who may be unable to take full responsibility for a meal card."