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Your Next Steps for Ohio’s Reduced-Price Meal Changes

School year 2023-24 will bring in two significant changes for Ohio schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP), including reduced price meal charges and direct certification.

The Changes...

With Governor DeWine’s signing of the Ohio budget bill, new provisions have been established for the State to cover the household’s financial obligation for reduced price breakfast and lunch. Per usual, sponsors will continue to receive the federal reimbursement rate as published for reduced price meals. The State will now reimburse sponsors the $0.30 and $0.40 for breakfast and lunch meals, respectively, that households were previously responsible for, allowing sponsors to provide these meals for free to students.
Ohio was also approved for the Direct Certification with Medicaid Pilot Program. This change extends direct certification beyond SNAP-free and OWF-free, now including the ability to match Medicaid-free and Medicaid-reduced certifications.

Your Next Steps...

As always, i3 Education is working tirelessly to minimize the impact these changes will have on our Ohio customers. We’ve compiled a few actionable steps with easy-to-follow tutorials on addressing these changes within your PaySchools software.

Step 1. Update System Pricing

To coincide with the State of Ohio now covering the household cost of reduced-price meals, sponsors will need to adjust PaySchools system pricing for all items categorized as meals.
Follow this link to be directed to a visual tutorial and video link on changing item prices within PaySchools Admin.

Step 2. Update Determination and Direct Certification Letters

PaySchools Admin provides customers the ability to create and edit template letters that are sent to households following direct certification and free and reduced meal application determinations. We have developed new notification templates for our Ohio customers to reflect the changes to reduced price meals and direct certification changes.
We are encouraging those Ohio customers to review the following updated sample Free and Reduced Meals Determination Letter template and sample Direct Certification Notification template for preferred vocabulary that addresses the changes at hand. Modify your letters within your PaySchools Admin system, located under Admin > Letters > Manage Letters
Lastly, we’d like to address the anxiety our Ohio customers might be feeling regarding the Direct Certification with Medicaid Pilot Program. Rest assured that we are working closely with the Ohio Department of Education Office of Nutrition to ensure a simplified process of importing your matched export file from the new Ohio District Data Exchange (ODDEX) module into PaySchools Admin. As the ODDEX module has not yet been released, we have chosen not to include a tutorial with this article. As soon as that module becomes active, we will release a full direct certification tutorial. To start off your school year, please use the Ohio Direct Certification guide to assist with your DC import using CRRS Legacy site. As always, our award-winning customer service team will be waiting to assist you.
The i3 Education software ecosystem constantly evolves as demanded by the ever-changing K-12 landscape. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for invaluable updates.

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