Understanding the Implications of the 25% ISP Threshold for Participation in CEP

Effective October 26, 2023, the identified student percentage (ISP) threshold for participation in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) will decrease from 40 percent to 25 percent. Prior to October 26, CEP provided schools and districts with at least 40 percent ISP (i.e., the percentage of students directly certified or categorically eligible for free or reduced-price (FRP) school meals) with the option to provide no-cost school meals to all students as well as forgo the collection of FRP applications. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reduced the ISP threshold for participation in CEP from 40 percent to 25 percent, which will make about 3,000 schools eligible for participation in CEP. This resource describes considerations and actions for schools and districts as they learn about and implement USDA's new CEP rule.