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Important news for contracting entities operating federal nutrition programs administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA).

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

" The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides the option for states agencies to request a statewide waiver to allow Child Nutrition Programs (CNPs) to assign free eligibility to 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 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 is requesting continuation of the SY 2019-2020 USDA approved waiver for SY 2020-2021. In SY 2018-2019, Texas contracting entities (CEs) identified 99,208 pre-kindergarten students as eligible for free meals In SY 2019-2020, Texas CEs identified 108,360, an increase of 9.15%.


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In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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Texas Department of Agriculture

Commissioner Sid Miller

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