Chicago: Free-lunch fraud includes principals

Twenty-six Chicago Public Schools employees — including 12 principals and assistant principals — stand accused of lying on federal school lunch forms, allowing their total of 45 children to receive free or reduced-price lunches at 40 schools across the district, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Federal lunch forms are used to measure school poverty rates. That creates a stronger incentive to lie than saving money on chicken nuggets and  jello.

. . . every year they trigger a windfall of “hundreds of millions of dollars” for CPS — from reimbursements for lunches, to federal poverty dollars for schools, to state funding,  (Schools Inspector General James) Sullivan noted.

Two suspects admitted “they falsified the forms so the schools their children attended would receive more funding,” Sullivan said. He plans to investigate whether school officials are encouraging the students’ parents to lie on school lunch forms.

About Joanne