29 Dec

School lunch system found open to fraud

first_imgLast year, LAUSD sent verification letters to about 8,000 households. Of those, 1,700 didn’t respond, 176 went from the free to the reduced-price category, and only 36 were changed to full-pay status, said Dennis Barrett, director of food services at LAUSD. Those who didn’t respond – nearly 25percent of those sent verification letters – were removed from the program. But Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, said the program should have more safeguards to limit potential fraud. “We all know that there’s going to be some level of fraud,” Coupal said. “There should be more significant consequences for defrauding a program like that, and we rarely see that kind of consequences flow from fraud. “The ultimate goal is to make sure that taxpayers aren’t being ripped off while at the same time trying the achieve the objective of the program.” The last time Congress examined how the government verifies the income of families applying for free and reduced-price lunches was in 2004 as lawmakers prepared to reauthorize the program. A number of federal audits found vast discrepancies between the census counts of low-income households and the number of students receiving free and reduced-price lunches. A study five years ago in New York City’s school district, only one larger than the LAUSD, found about $100 million in potential losses. While the Bush administration proposed strict new verification measures, advocates for the poor questioned the veracity of the studies and accused the administration of swiping tater tots out of the fingers of poor children. “The kinds of steps that were being considered were the types of things that would drive a lot of eligible families away,” said Zoe Neuberger, a senior policy analyst at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities think tank in Washington, D.C. Those intent on eliminating government waste, however, argued – and still do – that maintaining a program’s fiscal integrity is critical. “Showing a pay stub shouldn’t be too much to ask,” said Brian Reidl, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank who in 2003 estimated tighter income verification measures could save the program and the country $12 billion over 10 years. He and other conservatives argued that schools either boosted free-lunch participation or turned a blind eye to likely inaccuracies because the numbers act as a measure for poverty rates – which in many cases determines how much a school gets in funding for everything from books to teachers. Neuberger said she doesn’t expect Congress to take another big crack at income verification until the next reauthorization of the program in 2009. But she and others said they don’t expect a severe crackdown. “There are fairness concerns; there are budgetary concerns,” Neuberger said. But, she added, “There is almost agreement across the board that it is important to make the free and reduced-lunch program accessible to kids.” For the latest school news, go to www.insidesocal.com/education.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! While the $8.2 billion national school lunch program is designed to provide meals to needy students, the system is fraught with loopholes that leave it open to rampant fraud. A recent government report said verification remains a problem in the program that provides about 6.6 billion meals to kids each year at a cost of about $10.2 billion. To participate in the program, parents complete applications listing their income. Random verification checks are performed, but from 2005 to 2006, the study found slightly more than one student in five students who applied and got served was actually ineligible – at a cost of $935 million. “Several data sources suggest that a significant number of ineligible children are receiving free or reduced-price meals,” the auditors wrote. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonLos Angeles Unified School District officials, who sought verification for 8,000 applications last year, said they are in full compliance with the law. “Is there a potential to falsify income in any system in which you gather individual data and don’t review 100 percent of the applications? Yes, that risk exists,” said Michael Eugene, LAUSD’s business manager. “(But) since we’re in full compliance, our major focal point is to get meals to those students who need it.” The federal government requires school districts to audit 3percent of applicants from families whose income falls within $100 of the cutoff – those believed to be the most prone to reporting errors. A child from a family of four making $26,845 or less qualifies for the free-lunch program, while $38,203 is the limit for reduced-price lunches. last_img read more

29 Nov

Muguruza beats Garcia again to advance to Dubai semifinals

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC AFP official booed out of forum Muguruza next plays Russian Daria Kasatkina, who defeated compatriot Elena Vesnina 7-6 (5), 6-1.Top-seeded Elina Svitolina moved to within two matches of retaining her title with a 6-2, 6-4 win over wildcard Naomi Osaka of Japan.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWaiting for Svitolina in the semifinals is the resurgent Angelique Kerber. The sixth-seeded German defeated third-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3 in a 74-minute encounter.Third-ranked Muguruza had finished her round of 16 match at 1:50 a.m. local time but, if she was tired, she did not show any effects. Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving The first set was evenly contested, with games going with serve. Muguruza then applied immense pressure and had three break points in the ninth game. That lasted just shy of 10 minutes before Garcia held on but she was broken in the 11th game.Garcia was making more mistakes because of her aggressive mindset and her tendency to go for the lines. Muguruza was solid throughout, and broke her opponent twice early in the second to go 4-1 up.“I felt much better in this match than the one we played in Doha. It’s always difficult because we played almost in the same week twice,” Muguruza said. “But when you play a top-10 player, and you beat her second time in a row, it gives me a good sign that what I’m doing is right.“I was a little bit upset because it was very late (last night). I ended up sleeping at 4 a.m. But there’s nothing I can do, I have to accept it.”Kerber secured her 15th win of the season and reached her third semifinal in four tournaments. She broke early in both sets and lost just eight points on her first serve.ADVERTISEMENT Kings take shot at bringing NBA All-Star game to Sacramento Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Garbine Muguruza of Spain returns the ball to Caroline Garcia of France returns the ball to during a quarter final match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Second-seeded Garbine Muguruza overcame Caroline Garcia 7-5, 6-2 Thursday to seal her place in the semifinals of the Dubai Championships.Muguruza defeated the fifth-seeded Frenchwoman in their second quarterfinal in two weeks, with the Spaniard also winning after being a set down in Doha. On Thursday, she needed just two sets but they stretched over 108 minutes.ADVERTISEMENT Winner of two Grand Slams in 2016, Kerber did not win a single title in 2017 and dropped to No. 21 in the rankings.“I don’t know exactly what happened last year,” said Kerber. “I was still trying my best.” Read Next Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico MOST READ John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View commentslast_img read more

7 Nov

Tight at the Top – Australian Women’s Snatch Last Gasp Victory

first_imgRelated LinksWomen’s Match Report In a very tight tussle, it was Australia who somehow managed to keep their composure under fire and close out an amazing win considering they only hit the lead late in the second half. For coach, Swain Rovelli it was welcome relief and a good win first-up. “It was good to get that one over with and it’s good to get started with a good win.“We were ready to go but then we started to settle and once we got a read on what we had to do, we got on top and took it away from there.“Our changeovers were a bit slow and once we started going direct and once we nailed that, we knew that we could score tries and hold them out.“We knew what we needed to do and where to get to and thankfully Marikki’s try sealed it at the end for us.”New Zealand came firing out of the blocks early against Australia with Tenika Willison and Charlotte Davis crossing early for the Kiwis.The captains quickly got in on the act with Lizzie Campbell crossing the stripe in the middle section then New Zealand captain, Jean Marsh following Australia’s Hayley Maddick’s touchdown on debut.Tenika Willison went over for her double and was then followed by Samantha Hopkin on the spot of Campbell’s earlier touchdown.In the second half it was Mia Johnstone who then drew Australia level with New Zealand at 4-all with 13 minutes remaining.Shellie Davis put Australia in front for the first time in the match scoring her first Trans Tasman touchdown soon-after with Leah Percy pushing Australia out by two (6-4).The Kiwis’ Hayley Lee was the recipient of a great long ball left crossing out wide edging New Zealand closer before Charlotte Davis scored locking the game up at 6-all with minutes remaining.Then at the very death and following the script of the earlier Mixed Open match, Marikki Watego crossed right on full-time to deliver Australia a last gasp 7-6 victory and an opportunity to wrap the series up tomorrow.FINAL SCORE: Australia 7 (Campbell, Hopkin, Maddick, Johnstone, Percy, S Davis, Watego) defeated New Zealand 6 (C Davis 2, Willison 2, Marsh, Lee) last_img read more

28 Oct

10 months agoMan Utd boss Mourinho loses rag in post-match interview

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd boss Mourinho loses rag in post-match interviewby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Jose Mourinho took aim at a reporter after their 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.In truth United were second best all over the pitch and the defeat kept them eight points behind Arsenal in fifth place. Mourinho’s side have now conceded 29 goals this season in the league, one more than they did across the whole of last season. Asked if he believed the players are playing for him, Mourinho snapped: “What is that? Are you calling the players dishonest? You are asking me if they are dishonest.”I believe they are honest and you believe they are dishonest. A footballer has to give the maximum every day, every match, every minute, it doesn’t matter the manager, it doesn’t matter anything.”The club that pays him, the fans that are 24 hours per day in love with our club. It’s about respect for the club and the fans. The players that don’t do the maximum you are calling them dishonest. I don’t call them dishonest at all.” last_img read more