The Oldest Blog
A first amendment blog for school administrators and attorneys.
The Texas Department of Agriculture recently published its list of school districts, charters, and other entities whose child nutrition operations it will be auditing during the 2022-2023 school year. This year’s list identifies over 400 entities (primarily school districts) that will be subject to compliance reviews of their operational practices related to their participation in federally-funded School Nutrition Programs. Although these compliance reviews typically occur once every four years, TDA has advised that some entities may have more frequent reviews. You can review the list to see if it applies to your district on TDA’s website at https://squaremeals.org/Programs/NationalSchoolLunchProgram/Compliance.aspx.
Critical areas of review include demonstrating that every child is provided proper meal benefits and that meals are properly counted and claimed for reimbursement. Other critical areas include demonstrating that meals served to students are prepared, offered, and served according to USDA meal pattern requirements. More general areas of review include compliance with civil rights obligations, safety/health inspections, on-site monitoring responsibilities, reporting and recordkeeping, and professional standards.
TDA has published a detailed guide called The Compliance Review Reminder Binder, which outlines the scope of the Department’s reviews. TDA also partners with Regional Education Service Centers to provide training and support for districts working through the review process. Even with these available resources, TDA reviews can—and often do—lead to findings of noncompliance that can result in financial penalties or re-procurement requirements. Such findings can lead to administrative appeals, and cost districts significant time, money, and resources.
If your district is scheduled for a TDA review for 2022-2023 and you have questions about the process or want to make sure you are on target for a successful review, our team at Thompson & Horton, LLP has experienced attorneys who can help answer your questions. For specific questions, please contact Adam Rothey, at firstname.lastname@example.org.