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Public Notice, Proposed Waiver Request: State-Funded Pre-Kindergarten

" The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows states agencies to submit a statewide waiver to allow Child Nutrition Programs (CNPs) to assign free eligibility to all students in state-funded pre-kindergarten programs. TDA has requested continuation of the previous waiver to assign free eligibility to state-funded pre-kindergarten students. Click the headline above to read the full Public Notice and Information for the Proposed Waiver Request.
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USDA Memo, SP 40-2013, Questions and Answers Regarding the Participation of Head Start Program in Child Nutrition Programs describes the option for state agencies to request a statewide waiver to allow Child Nutrition Programs (CNPs) to automatically assign free eligibility to students in state-funded pre-kindergarten programs when the programs use comparable Head Start eligibility criteria. To be comparable to Head Start, the Texas state-funded pre-kindergarten program must meet the following criteria: (1) have eligibility criteria that is identical to or more stringent than a Head Start Program; (2) differentiate between students receiving State funding based on income and children receiving funding based on other criteria; and (3) make income determinations that do not exceed 12 months.

TDA implemented an approved state-funded pre-kindergarten waiver for the first time in School Year 2018-2019. In the first year of implementation, the waiver impacted the eligibility of approximately 200,000 economically disadvantaged students. By automatically assigning free eligibility, the burden to establish eligibility was reduced for both households and program operators. If granted by USDA, TDA believes the extended waiver will reduce the burden on establishing eligibility for up to 236,000 students each year. As a result, TDA is requesting a continuation of this waiver.



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Texas Department of Agriculture
Commissioner Sid Miller