Essential Elements of a System to Improve Match Rate for Direct Certification

Essential Elements of a System to Improve Match Rate for Direct Certification

The objective of this paper is to provide states with information on the elements of a system for optimal matching for Direct Certification, and, ideally, to match data sets of children and students for other purposes under the purview of state and local agencies serving children.


Examples cited by states of other uses for a direct match system include matching student records against assessment results from assessment publishers such as the College Board (SAT) and ACT.

Direct Certification (DC or Direct Certification) determines student eligibility for National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) benefits. Starting in 1989 , the federal government promoted Direct Certification. Under Direct Certification, states and local education agencies (LEAs) use information provided by the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Foster Care, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) and a variety of other data sets to automatically enroll eligible children into the various Child Nutrition Programs run by the US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) ( Beginning with the 2016-17 school year, the FNS is conducting demonstrations to evaluate Direct Certification using Medicaid data in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP).


 direct certification white paper



As described in the FNS’s DIRECT CERTIFICATION IN THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM STATE IMPLEMENTATION PROGRESS, SCHOOL YEAR 2013-2014 REPORT TO CONGRESS, only twelve states and the District of Columbia have achieved direct certification rates at or above the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act’s (HHFKA) 95 percent performance target . Numerous states are now investigating what systems are available to help them meet or exceed the HHFKA’s performance target.


Download the complete white paper to learn more about the challenges that states are facing and the elements of a high quality system for optimal matching for direct certification and more.





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