LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - Are some California school administrators acting more like lunchroom bullies? We're talking about state and federal subsidies that are earmarked for free and reduced cost lunch programs but instead that's being used for other things in cash strapped school districts.
A new audit for the California Senate Rules Committee says a small team of regulators acknowledge they have no idea how big the problem may be and fear they may have uncovered only a *hint* of the ongoing abuse. That small hint though is at least $170 million taxpayer dollars misused across eight of the state's largest school districts.
Auditors found a lot of times this money was instead being spent on teacher pay, school upkeep and utility bills. Because of that money being taken, schools often had to cut lunchroom costs by serving processed foods rather than fresh and having insufficient staff to maintain food safety.
“From my point of view, they are literally taking food out of the mouths of kids,” Chief Deputy State Superintendent Richard Zeiger said. "They say 'well we can do it cheaper.' I say you should do it better."
Again auditors have no idea if this problem actually involves districts in Northern California as well, because they are so short staffed. Because of this shortage, an USDA spokesperson also says they have not recently done or are currently working on any inspections of Nevada’s school districts.