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Economically Disadvantaged Status

The Economically Disadvantaged Status is reported separately from a student's Food Services Eligibility

Economically Disadvantaged Status: WISEdata

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An economically disadvantaged student is one who is

  • identified by  Direct Certification (only if participating in the National School Lunch Program) OR  
  • a member of a household that meets the income eligibility guidelines for free or reduced-price meals (less than or equal to 185 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines) under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) OR  
  • identified by an alternate mechanism, such as the alternate household income form.

Every public school student in every grade in every public school, all Choice students and in some cases all private students at a private school participating in the Milwaukee, Racine, or Wisconsin Parental Choice Program must be queried each year to find economically disadvantaged (ED) status. Students, including those enrolled in a school participating in the Community Eligibility Program (CEP) or Provision 2, must be individually evaluated every school year to determine ED status. ED status must be reported for students regardless of whether or not the school participates in the National School Lunch Program.

Some schools in the Choice Program have elected to receive an additional, Private School - All Students Report Card. In these cases, by “opting in” to receive the additional report card, the school agrees to report ED status in WISEdata for all students in the school; this includes non-Choice as well as Choice participants. If a private school participates in the federally funded Title I-A program, economic status for all students in that area is needed and the school reports that information to the public school district.

Starting in the 2019-20 school year, ED status appears as a characteristic in the Student Details section of WISEdata. Economically Disadvantaged and Not Economically Disadvantaged are displayed as separate characteristics in a student's detail information.

The Economically Disadvantaged Status is reported separately from a student's Food Services Eligibility.

Status Code Characteristic (2019-20 and later)
Economically Disadvantaged Yes Economically Disadvantaged
Not Economically Disadvantaged No Not Economically Disadvantaged

How to Determine Economic Status for the DPI Economically Disadvantaged Type

There are a number of possible sources for collecting household income information to determine economic status:

  1. If your school participates in the USDA National School Lunch Program and is not participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) (qualifying schools provide free meals to all students without collecting applications) or Provision 2 (schools provide meals at no charge and individual student eligibility is determined once every 4 years):
  2. If your school participates in the USDA National School Lunch Program and is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision 2:
  3. If your school does not participate in the USDA National School Lunch Program:
    • You may use a locally developed method to determine if a student’s family qualifies as economically disadvantaged.
      • The method you use should collect economic status based upon the appropriate income eligibility guidelines.
      •  Because these guidelines are updated annually, eligibility information must be collected annually
      • Example: alternate household income form (which you may use or alter; just remove language related to free school meals if not participating in program).
      • Please note, the USDA Free and Reduced Price Meal Application linked above cannot be used in schools that do not participate in the USDA National School Lunch Program.

The income limits to determine eligibility for the Private School Choice Program are not the same income limits used to determine students’ economically disadvantaged status. Qualifying for a Private School Choice Program does not automatically mean that a student should be considered economically disadvantaged.

If a private school participates in the federally funded Title I-A program (see note below), the private school may collect economic status for all students residing in the Title I school’s attendance area, which means the school may already have the necessary student-level economic status information for WISEdata. This is because the applicable income thresholds are the same as those which consider a student economically disadvantaged in WISEdata; students the private school reports as economically disadvantaged for the federally funded Title I-A program purposes would also be economically disadvantaged for Wisconsin’s Accountability Report Cards. In this case, a school may use the information the school collects for the federally funded Title I-A program purposes as evidence for WISEdata.

  • Note regarding Title I-A programs: If the district in which a private school is located uses the proportional method for Title I, there would be insufficient data for reporting individual economic status. If this is the case, a private school must use one of the other options listed above to collect individual student economic status for each individual Choice student and all students if applicable.

When determining economic status, focus on whether a family meets the threshold (eligibility for reduced price meals); no more detail is necessary. The school or district’s participation in the USDA National School Lunch Program must be determined prior to going through the process of determining Economically Disadvantaged status for students.

Please view these short videos for more information about collecting ED data for equitable services funded with Title I, Part A.


Reporting Economic Status

 

The economic status indicator in WISEdata is separate from information about eligibility for free or reduced price meals as part of the National School Lunch program. In other words, even if a school does not participate in the National School Lunch Program, the economic status data reported for students in the school is necessary for report card calculations and other public reporting.

District or schools must enter a value in their student information system (SIS) for both student economic status and food services eligibility. In circumstances in which districts or schools are not able to collect income information, the district or school should report students as “not economically disadvantaged” for student economic status and "unknown" for food services eligibility. Incorrect income information will impact public reporting and Accountability Report Card scores.

Status Code
Economically Disadvantaged Yes
Not Economically Disadvantaged No

For reporting purposes, DPI combines the two-part indicators in WISEdata from data sent by the district's or Choice school's student information system (SIS) into a single indicator, Economically Disadvantaged.

  1. Part 1 of the indicator is the Food Services Eligibility field. This field indicates what the student’s Free and Reduced Price Lunch status is under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Options are Full-price lunch, Reduced-priced lunch, Free lunch, or Unknown. Unknown would be used by schools that are not participating in the NSLP.
  2. Part 2 of the indicator is the Economically Disadvantaged Status of the student (Yes or No). This is based on the sources listed above under the section titled: How Economically Disadvantaged Type is Determined. Options are Full-price lunch, Reduced-priced lunch, Free lunch, or Unknown.
Part 1: Food Services Eligibility Part 2: Economically Disadvantaged Status Result: Economically Disadvantaged Type (FRAN)
Free Lunch Yes F: Eligible for Free Lunch
Reduced-Price Lunch R: Eligible for Reduced-Price Lunch
Full-Price Lunch A: Economic Disadvantaged - Alt Mechanism
Unknown A: Economic Disadvantaged - Alt Mechanism
Free Lunch No N: Not Economically Disadvantaged
Reduced-Price Lunch
Full-Price Lunch
Unknown
 

Uses: Economically Disadvantaged Status codes are used for disaggregated reporting and accountability purposes, the Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN), E-rate, and certain child nutrition program purposes. This data element is used to disaggregate attendance, retention, dropout, and graduation rate data by economic status. Economically disadvantaged status indicators were included in Pre-ID files for statewide testing and used for disaggregated reporting of test results and participation.

 

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Collection

Demographic, All     *Note, all data elements flow into WISEdata at all times, not only during specified collection snapshots.

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Related Validations & Data Elements

6370, WISEid, Homeless Status, Migrant Status, Food Services Eligibility                                                                                                 

FAQs, Details, and Points to Note

 

 

  1. Food Services Eligibility: For information regarding eligibility and reporting requirements for this separate data element, see the Food Services Eligibility page.
  2. Direct Certification: Direct Certification (DC) promotes participation in School Meal Programs by simplifying access to free meals for foster children and students in households with lower incomes. DC is manually initiated by Districts/School Food Authorities (SFA). A district/SFA uploaded student file is electronically matched to a state database of children in families enrolled in FoodShare, W-2 cash benefits, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) (new 2017-18), Medicaid (new 2017-18), or the foster care system. Each School Food Authority (SFA) is able to run DC as often as it wants. SFAs that do not participate in School Lunch Programs are not allowed to use direct certification by law.
  3. Alternative Mechanism for Reporting Economic Disadvantage: Student is not covered by Food Service Eligibility or Direct Certification, but other evidence indicates that the student's household income is at or below the income eligibility guidelines for reduced-price meals under NSLP. Participation in need-based programs is acceptable evidence of economically disadvantaged status if need is based on a household income standard at or below the income eligibility guidelines for reduced-price lunch under NSLP. See also the Alternate Household Income form.
  4. Changes in Status: Economically Disadvantaged Status is determined as of a specific date. Codes provided should be based on the most accurate information available during the WISEdata submission period about the student's economically disadvantaged status on that date. For example, a student may have an "N" code (Not Economically Disadvantaged) for snapshot Count Date purposes and an "F" or "R" (Economically Disadvantaged) code in Year End snapshot record(s) for the same school term. This may happen if:
    • For WISEdata Count Date records, the dates are the Third Friday of September and Oct. 1.
    • The student's household submits an NSLP application later in the school term due to changes in economic need after the count date and grace period, or
    • A student is documented to be homeless/migrant/runaway after the count date and grace period.
  5. CEP Schools: The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) permits eligible schools, groups of schools, or districts to provide meal service to all students at no charge, regardless of economic status, while reducing burden at the household and local levels by eliminating the need to obtain eligibility data from families through a separate collection. It's important to note, however, that economically disadvantaged and free and reduced lunch are two separate data fields in WISEdata. A student qualifying with a value for one field does not guarantee the other is also true. The student attending a school in the CEP who is not free or reduced for meals should be marked as Free but should be marked as NOT economically disadvantaged.
    • Districts that include non-CEP and CEP schools are encouraged to continue to use the USDA household application form so that if a student moves from a CEP to non-CEP school, the student will remain eligible for free or reduced price lunch service at the non-CEP school.
  6. K4 and PK Students: Every student in every grade in every school, even K4 and PK students, should be evaluated each year to find economically disadvantaged status. If you do not collect Free and Reduced Lunch data for these students, you can still obtain economic data using the Alternate Household Income form.
    • Some schools in the Choice Program have elected to receive an additional, Private School - All Students Report Card. In these cases, by “opting in” to receive the additional report card, the school agrees to report ED status in WISEdata for all students in the school; this includes non-Choice as well as Choice participants. If a private school participates in the federally funded Title I-A program, economic status for all students in that area is needed and the school reports that information to the public school district.
  7. Homeless, Migrant, and Runaway Status: The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) both assume that homeless, migrant, and runaway students are economically disadvantaged. Once a student is documented as a homeless, migrant, or runaway student, free lunch eligibility is generally effective for the remainder of the school term. However, if a student moves from one district to another during the school term or one Choice participating private school to another, the receiving district or school must have appropriate documentation to support the eligibility. If the sending district/school does not share documentation with the receiving district, the receiving district needs to document the student's status.
  8. National School Lunch Program-Verified Data: Approved NSLP applications or direct certification for individual students must be current to be used as the basis for F or R codes. Most schools collect the NSLP applications or verify Direct Certification annually. Schools that use F and R codes for some students may or may not also use code A for other students.
  9. Alternative Provisions to NSLP-Verified Data: Schools participating in the NSLP under the Community Eligibility Provision or Provision 2 are not subject to the annual application or Direct Certification requirements, so student/household level income data may not be available from these sources. In these cases, schools are expected to use codes A and N for their students, as appropriate, with A codes based on the Alternate Household Income Form (refer to the Title I and Other Funding Programs section) or alternative evidence of individual student/household income level. CEP and Provision 2 schools may use F or R codes for students if the relevant evidence is available at the student level (e.g., through the automated direct certification process). Student-level data about economically disadvantaged status is required to meet a wide range of disaggregated reporting mandates, which are, in turn, used to ensure that all students especially economically disadvantaged students are making progress. All public schools and private schools that participate in the Choice program, including schools participating in the NSLP under CEP or Provision 2, are covered by this requirement.
  10. Uses by the School and Community Nutrition Team: The DPI School and Community Nutrition Team uses the numbers of students with Economically Disadvantaged Type codes F and R and WISEdata count date enrollment
    • to qualify eligible sites for participation in the Summer Food Service Program,
    • to qualify eligible centers/sites for participation in the after school snack component of the Child and Adult Care Food Program,
    • to qualify eligible family day care home providers for higher rates of meal reimbursement under the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and
    • to qualify eligible school buildings for participation in the after school snack component of the National School Lunch Program.
    • All the above are USDA child nutrition programs administered in WI by DPI.
  11. Students in Virtual Charter Schools: Students attending a virtual charter school still need to have their economically disadvantaged status reported. Although they may not sit in a physical building or receive free lunch, they are not exempt from the reporting requirement.

Economically Disadvantaged Type Technical Rule Logic (2019-20 and later)

When districts and schools send this information to DPI, it is done via two elements identified in the table above: Food Services Eligibility data element and the Economically Disadvantaged student characteristic.

The Ed-Fi ODS API documentation describes the data elements as:

  • Economically Disadvantaged (student characteristic): An indication of inadequate financial condition of an individual's family, as determined by family income, number of family members/dependents, participation in public assistance programs, and/or other characteristics considered relevant by federal, state, and local policy.
  • school Food Services Eligibility Descriptor (sFSED): Free, Reduced, Unknown, Full-priced & economic Disadvantaged: Boolean

(1) If studentCharacteristics includes Economically Disadvantaged and sFSED = Free, then (coll) econ_disadvantaged_type = 'F'.

(2) If studentCharacteristics includes Economically Disadvantaged and sFSED = Reduced, then (coll) econ_disadvantaged_type = 'R'.

(3) If studentCharacteristics includes Economically Disadvantaged and sFSED = Full-Priced, then (coll) econ_disadvantaged_type = 'A'.

(4) If studentCharacteristics includes Economically Disadvantaged and sFSED = Unknown, then (coll) econ_disadvantaged_type = 'A'.

(5) If studentCharacteristics does not include Economically Disadvantaged and sFSED is not null, then (coll) econ_disadvantaged_type = 'N'.


Economically Disadvantaged Type Technical Rule Logic (2018-19 and earlier)

When districts and schools send this information to DPI, it is done via the two data elements identified in the table above, Food Services Eligibility and Economically Disadvantaged Status.

The Ed-Fi ODS API documentation describes the data elements as:

  • economic Disadvantaged (eD) (Boolean, optional): An indication of inadequate financial condition of an individual's family, as determined by family income, number of family members/dependents, participation in public assistance programs, and/or other characteristics considered relevant by federal, state, and local policy.
  • school Food Services Eligibility Descriptor (sFSED): Free, Reduced, Unknown, Full-priced & economic Disadvantaged: Boolean

(1) If (Ed-Fi) eD = Y and sFSED = Free, then (coll) econ_disadvantaged_type = 'F'.

(2) If (Ed-Fi) eD = Y and sFSED = Reduced, then (coll) econ_disadvantaged_type = 'R'.

(3) If (Ed-Fi) eD = Y and sFSED = Full-Priced, then (coll) econ_disadvantaged_type = 'A'.

(4) If (Ed-Fi) eD = Y and sFSED = Unknown, then (coll) econ_disadvantaged_type = 'A'.

(5) If (Ed-Fi) eD = N and sFSED is not null, then (coll) econ_disadvantaged_type = 'N'.

 

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