All CEs regardless of their size are required to use direct certification. In essence, direct certification is the identification of categorically eligible children through means other than getting information from the household. Children who are participants in SNAP or TANF can be directly certified for free meals.
If any person, including adults, in a household is receiving program benefits from SNAP, TANF, or FDPIR, all children in the household are eligible for free meals. This is called extended benefits or an extension of benefits.
Starting September 1, 2013, public school districts, charter schools, private schools, and Residential Child Care Institutions (RCCI) can obtain information for SNAP and TANF eligibility from the governing agencies via TDA’s Texas Unified Nutrition Programs System (TX-UNPS). This information is referred to as the DC list. The initial DC list is uploaded each year on July 1 and is updated the first week of each month for the remainder of the year. The TX-UNPS User’s Guide has detailed information on how to access this list.
The DC list contains records from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) of all children that are participants in either the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). This information is provided to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that uses the Texas Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) to match against the HHSC records. Records that TEA matches are considered State Level Matches.
The records from HHSC that TEA cannot match now are available for CEs to try and match their students that are not on the State Level Matches. Any records the CEs are able to match are considered CE Level Matches. Once a student is matched that record is marked as a match for that CE and is not available for additional matching.
Listed below are links to additional training material available regarding the TX-UNPS DC lists.
- View, Print, Download
CEs can view, print and/or download direct certification information by either the State Level Matches or the CE Level Matches for either a specified month or year to date. The State Level Matches list provides records that were matched by TEA while the CE Level Matches provides records that were matched by the CE.
- CE Level Matches File Upload
CEs can attempt to match students that are not on the State Level Matches lists and are not on a CE Level Matches list. This can be done using a file that can be uploaded into the TX-UNPS DC system. If matches are made then the TX-UNPS DC system will automatically match those records. Once the file has processed a list will be provided that allows the CE to know which records were matched or did not match.
- Search and/or Make Matches
CEs can attempt to match students that are not on the State Level Matches lists and are not on a CE Level Matches list one student at a time. If a match is possible then the CE will be allowed to match that student. This also could be used to "unmatch" a student.