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California School Districts Misuse Cafeteria Money Intended For Low-Income Students

State officials say California school districts have misappropriated tens of millions of dollars intended to provide meals to low-income students. A report issued Wednesday by the Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes says the California Department of Education recently ordered eight districts to repay nearly $170 million to their student meal programs.

The report says state officials identified more than $158 million in misappropriations and unallowable charges at the Los Angeles Unified School District. LAUSD officials did not immediately provide comment on the report.

The report says other districts with unallowable charges include San Diego, Santa Ana, San Francisco and Compton. The San Diego and Santa Ana districts are challenging the department's findings. Officials say the cases in the report may only represent a fraction of cafeteria fund misuse statewide.