Calif. districts misspent meal money, says state report

The DOE has ordered eight districts to repay about $170 million to programs that offer free and reduced-price meals.

Feb. 8—California school districts have misspent tens of millions of dollars intended to provide subsidized meals to low-income students, according to a state Senate report released Wednesday.

The California Department of Education recently ordered eight districts to repay about $170 million to programs that offer free and reduced-price lunches and breakfasts, according to the investigation by the Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes.

In most cases, the cash-strapped districts used the misappropriated funds to pay for other expenses, such as salaries and equipment, according to the report, titled "Food Fight: Small team of state examiners no match for schools that divert student meal funds."