Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, R- Morris, Essex and Passaic, said today’s report issued by state Comptroller Matt Boxer revealing a lack of oversight by 15 school districts in reviewing applications for the Free School Lunch Program (FSLP) is troubling evidence that lessons were not learned when such problems were revealed in the Elizabeth school district nearly two years ago.
Boxer’s audit found that school board members and school district
employees had provided materially false information regarding their
income on the FSLP applications. The comptroller’s office is forwarding
the names of 109 individuals discovered in the audit to the Division of
Criminal Justice for its review.
“Apparently, some school districts did not learn any lessons from
what was discovered in Elizabeth,” said DeCroce, who is a member of the
Assembly Education Committee. “Lax oversight in reviewing applications
that result in ineligible students receiving a free or reduced cost
lunch is unacceptable and cheats taxpayers and other school districts.
“The fact that additional school aid is granted based on the number
of participants in this program exacerbates the problem and takes aid
from other districts that would welcome the additional help,” continued
DeCroce. “This report should serve as a wakeup call to all districts
throughout the state that taxpayers expect applications for aid to be
reviewed thoroughly and rejected when inaccurate information is
supplied. I wholeheartedly agree with the comptroller forwarding the
names of people who provided false information to the justice system for