Community Eligibility Database: Eligible and Participating Schools for the 2016-2017 School Year
Community eligibility is a federal option that enables high-needs schools to offer breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students. In order to qualify, schools must meet a certain threshold of poverty as measured by their identified student percentage.
The Food Research & Action Center obtained information on schools that have adopted community eligibility as of September 2016 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and state education agencies. Under federal law, states are required to publish, by May 1 of each year, a list of schools and districts with ISPs of at least 40 percent and those with ISPs between 30 and just under 40 percent (near-eligible schools and districts). FRAC compared these published lists to the lists of adopting schools, and compiled a universe of eligible and participating schools and districts in the 2016-2017 school year. The database includes data for all 50 states, and the District of Columbia. Each entry, when available, contains the following information for a given school: state, school district, school name, identified student percentage (ISP), student enrollment, and current participation status.
The Food Research & Action Center obtained information on schools that have adopted community eligibility as of September 2016 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and state education agencies. Under federal law, states are required to publish, by May 1 of each year, a list of schools and districts with Identified Student Percentages (ISPs) of at least 40 percent and those with ISPs between 30 and just under 40 percent (near-eligible schools and districts).
These lists were reviewed and missing or inconsistent data were identified. Data issues were often corrected or explained by state agencies; however there were some instances where updates to the data were unavailable. In these situations, the state notes provided below provide an explanation of remaining data issues that are displayed in the database. FRAC compared the May 2016 lists of eligible schools to the September 2016 lists of adopting schools, and compiled a universe of eligible and participating schools and districts in the 2016-2017 school year.
This database includes data for all schools that are currently participating and schools that are eligible for the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). Any district, group of schools in a district, or school with 40 percent or more “identified students” can choose to participate. Identified students include children directly certified for free school meals through data matching because their households receive assistance from:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),
Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or
Medicaid benefits (in certain states).
Identified students also include children who are certified for free meals without an application because they are homeless, migrant, enrolled in Head Start, or in foster care.
The schools are color-coded by ISP according to the following legend:
ISP 60% and higher
The database includes 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Virginia provided total student enrollment for Petersburg City School District (4,362 students) but did not report enrollment for each participating individual school in the school district. The total CEP student enrollment for this school district was included in data analysis for our report—Community Eligibility Continues to Grow in the 2016-2017 School Year—but enrollment in the individual schools was not included in this searchable database.
South Carolina provided individual ISPs for three schools participating in a group. Illinois provided individual ISPs for 828 schools (41 school districts).
Some states did not provide student enrollment information for certain schools: one school in California, two schools in Georgia, four schools in Idaho, three schools in Maine, 26 schools in Tennessee, and four schools in South Carolina.
Some states did not provide ISP information for certain schools: nine schools in California, two schools in Georgia, and four schools in Idaho.
Ohio reported ISPs below 40% for 6 participating schools. These schools' ISPs appear in the database as unavailable.
For “The Lincoln-Marti Community Agency” school district, Florida reported 11 schools with the name “Lincoln-Marti Schools”. To distinguish these schools, FRAC appended the provided school IDs to the name of the school.