Report: State agency ill-equipped to spot school district foodservice fraud

In recent years, the California Department of Education ordered eight districts to repay about $170 million to student meal programs, report says.

COLTON, Calif.—Recent mismanagement issues with the nutrition services departments of two San Bernardino County school districts, Colton Joint Unified and Rialto Unified, are among a series of similar problems in California made worse by “overmatched” state investigators facing what could be a flood of such cases, according to a report prepared last year for the state Senate.

Released in February 2013, “Food fight: small team of state examiners no match for schools that divert student meal funds,” prepared by the California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes, depicts a financially strapped oversight system with less than one California Department of Education inspector for every 50 public school districts.

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