THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Office of P-20 Education Policy
As required by Section 389 of Chapter 57 of the Laws of 1993 and Chapters 614 and 615 of the New York State (NYS) Laws of 1993, certain public schools must implement a School Breakfast Program (SBP) or seek an exemption annually.
Schools Required to Implement a Breakfast Program or Request an Exemption
- A recipient agency (RA) of a public school district containing grades K-6 that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Severe need schools - A ‘severe need’ school is one that served 40% or more of its lunches to free or reduced price eligible students in the second preceding year. Severe need status for individual RA’s can be viewed on the School Food Authority (SFA) Annual Renewal in the Child Nutrition Management System (CNMS).
Please note: The New York State Education Department (SED) will not be providing a list of schools that require an exemption.
Annual Breakfast Exemption Requirements
A district may request an exemption based on one of the following:
1. Lack of need for the program because of low enrollment or documented projections of low participation through one the following:
- Survey conducted of all parents in the affected building that indicates 80 percent of the children of those responding would not use the program. In order to receive an exemption, the survey and parent letter must be unbiased. Survey results must be calculated separately for each school. It is recommended that only one question be asked. “If the breakfast program were offered, would your child/children participate an average of three days per week? ___ Yes ___ No.” Information regarding the parent’s name, the name of the school, and the number of children affected should also be obtained. Survey results must contain a 33 percent or greater response rate, 80 percent of responders must indicate they would not use the program for each building requesting an exemption. Surveys must be conducted each year for the following school year.
- Survey of all students attending the affected building that indicates fewer than 10 percent come to school without a morning meal, and they would not consume a breakfast in school if it were available.
- Demonstration that a morning meal of equal nutritional value that accommodates students, regardless of their ability to pay, is available and accessible to all the students attending the affected building through another program.
- Lack of participation in the SBP over the current six months as evidenced by an average daily participation of fewer than 20 students, fewer than 10 percent enrolled or fewer than 5 percent eligible for free and reduced-price meals, whichever is less. The district must investigate the reasons for low participation and substantiate its efforts to increase participation levels before an exemption will be granted. This participation data can be used each subsequent year when requesting an annual exemption.
2. To be granted an exemption based on economic hardship a school district must obtain documentation of eligibility for an apportionment of tax effort aid during the prior school year pursuant to paragraph © of subdivision 16 of Section 3602 of the Education Law, as determined by the Commissioner based on the best data available on July 1 of the current school year and must demonstrate that after exhausting all other in local real property taxes.
- Obtain documentation of eligibility for an apportionment of tax effort aid during the prior school year pursuant to paragraph C of subdivision 16 of Section 3602 of the Education Law, as determined by the Commissioner based on the best data available on July 1 of the current school year and must demonstrate that after exhausting all other in local real property taxes
3. To be granted an exemption for other good cause the district must document the investigation of the perceived barrier(s), how they attempted to resolve the problem(s), and their inability to do so.
- Document the investigation of the perceived barrier(s), how the SFA attempted to resolve the problem(s), and its inability to do so.
Notification to Parents and Taxpayers:
All parents and taxpayers must be made aware of the district's intent to request an exemption by June 1 of each year and be offered an opportunity to share their concerns with school officials. The request should be communicated via newsletter, memorandum, publication in a local newspaper, etc., so that the message is clearly conveyed to the community.
Requesting a Breakfast Exemption
Complete the online request form in CNMS by July 31, 2023.
Step 1: Log into CNMS > Select the applicable RA > click on RA annual information > select 2023-2024 school year> the Breakfast Exemption dropdown box will be displayed.
Step 2: Within the breakfast exemption dropdown box, select the requested method of exemption > click update. A green “Success” will be displayed at the top of the screen. The breakfast exemption status for this RA will display a “Y” in the annual detail screen.
No further documentation is required to be submitted. Documentation to support the Breakfast Exemption must be retained on file and must be made available upon request.