Federal flexibility for food service hires

As KASB staff traveled across Kansas for spring and summer meetings, they heard concerns that federal requirements for the education and experience level of school nutrition program directors were hampering school district efforts to hire food service staff.  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees school nutrition programs, has amended its regulations to offer smaller school districts some hiring flexibility.  

First, the USDA now requires relevant food service experience rather than school nutrition program experience for new school nutrition program directors in school districts with less than 2,500 students. USDA has also given state agencies (KSDE in Kansas) the option to consider documented volunteer or unpaid work as relevant experience for new school nutrition program directors in those districts. 

KSDE is also allowed to accept less than the required years of food service experience when an applicant for a new director position in a district with fewer than 500 students has the minimum required education. 

For more information, contact the Kansas State Department of Education’s Child Nutrition and Wellness division. 

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