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Office for Prekindergarten through Grade 12 Education
Child Nutrition Program Administration
89 Washington Avenue, Room 375 EBA, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 473-8781 Fax: (518) 473-0018

School Food Service Directors/Managers
Paula Tyner-Doyle, Coordinator
Sunday, May 1, 2016
SY 2016-2017 PLE Exemption

The availability of an exemption to the Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) for certain School Food Authorities (SFAs) in strong financial standing has been extended through School Year (SY) 2016-2017.  The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) initially provided an exemption in memorandum SP 34-2013, “PLE: Guidance for SY 2013-2014.”  Providing an extension for another year will allow FNS to continue to gather feedback and experience with the exemption in order to inform future policy considerations, including a final rule.

In SY 2016-2017, a SFA may be exempt from the PLE requirements if they can meet all of the “Factors for Consideration.”  The SFA must be certified as meeting meal pattern requirements.  They must demonstrate the required increase to paid lunch prices or revenue contributions would cause them to exceed the three-month operating balance limit.  With all factors considered, a SFA must show that there are no other necessary or appropriate uses for its funds.  Funds may be better used to operate or improve their program, to meet program requirements and goals, or to address deficiencies in program operations.

For 2016-2017 exemptions, all aspects of food service operations including meal costs, a la carte sales and compliance with regulatory requirements (e.g., the Smart Snacks in Schools standards) will be evaluated when determining whether to grant the exemption.

The financial standing of a school food service account may change from year to year.  SFAs that received an exemption in SY 2015-2016 must request a new exemption for SY 2016-2017.  They must provide the proper documentation to be considered for the exemption.

To request a PLE exemption, please fill out the attached form below, completing all instructions to include submission of a letter, with supporting documentation, PLE Tool for 2016-2017, and a projected Balance Sheet for 2016-2017.


2016-2017 PLE Exemption Request in Word and PDF

2016-2017 PLE Tool

2016-2017 Balnce Sheet

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)     mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)     email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Los demás programas de asistencia nutricional del FNS, las agencias estatales y locales, y sus beneficiarios secundarios, deben publicar el siguiente Aviso de No Discriminación:

De conformidad con la Ley Federal de Derechos Civiles y los reglamentos y políticas de derechos civiles del Departamento de Agricultura de los EE. UU. (USDA, por sus siglas en ingles), se prohíbe que el USDA, sus agencias, oficinas, empleados e instituciones que participan o administran programas del USDA discriminen sobre la base de raza, color, nacionalidad, sexo, discapacidad, edad, o en represalia o venganza por actividades previas de derechos civiles en algún programa o actividad realizados o financiados por el USDA.

Las personas con discapacidades que necesiten medios alternativos para la comunicación de la información del programa (por ejemplo, sistema Braille, letras grandes, cintas de audio, lenguaje de seas americano, etc.), deben ponerse en contacto con la agencia (estatal o local) en la que solicitaron los beneficios. Las personas sordas, con dificultades de audición o discapacidades del habla pueden comunicarse con el USDA por medio del Federal Relay Service [Servicio Federal de Retransmisión] al (800) 877-8339. Además, la información del programa se puede proporcionar en otros idiomas.

Para presentar una denuncia de discriminación, complete el Formulario de Denuncia de Discriminación del Programa del USDA, (AD-3027) que está disponible en linea en: y en cualquier oficina del USDA, o bien escriba una carta dirigida al USDA e incluya en la carta toda la información solicitada en el formulario. Para solicitar una copia del formulario de denuncia, llame al (866) 632-9992. Haga llegar su formulario lleno o carta al USDA por:

(1)     correo: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; o

(3)     correo electró

Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.