Now we know why the Escambia County Public School District set up a toll-free fraud hotline. The daily newspaper reports that an outside audit of the district’s free and reduced lunch program has revealed that at least two schools–Tate High School and Ferry Pass Elementary– were reimbursed by the National School Lunch Program for school meals they did not serve. The fraud stretches back three years.
Former Food Service Director Gail Szoboszlay fired in October for alleged bid tampering and falsifying official documents. However Szoboszlay only served as the director for eight months, between July 2012 and February 2013. The meal fraud stretches back to at least the 2010-2011 school year, according to the news article, when Tate High School reported at least 2,700 free or reduced meals that we later found not to be served.
In a school district where its students are battling hunger on a daily basis (read Hunger Games), this latest revelation of corruption in the school district is unconscionable.
BTW: We’ve confirmed that a Warrington Middle School male student, age 15, was recently arrested for alleged sexual assault against a 13-year-old female student. Reports of violence and assaults are still coming into our offices on a more regular basis. Little has changed since our awarding-winning report on the troubles at Warrington Middle and Tate High.