USDA releases rule on performance-based reimbursements

State agencies to determine if districts receive additional 6 cents per meal.

April 25—The USDA has released a proposed rule on how districts will get the 6-cent reimbursement for meeting the new, healthier meal plan regulations that go into effect July 1.

According to the rule, state agencies must establish procedures to certify districts for the performance-based reimbursement. District must submit documentation to demonstrate compliance with new meal requirements. Within 60 days of submission, a state agency must notify districts of their standing for the 6-cent reimbursement. State agencies will administer performance-based reimbursements to the schools.

For SY 2012-2013, state agencies must conduct on-site validation reviews for 25% of randomly selected districts. All large districts must be included in the sample. These on-site validation reviews must include, at a minimum, an observation of a meal service for each type of certified menu, review production records for observed meals and review documentation submitted for certification.

In years subsequent to the year certified, through SY 2014-2015, state agencies must require districts to submit an annual attestation of compliance with the new meal pattern requirements as the new regulations are phased in.

The rule is up for public comment until July 26 at regulations.gov.