Hawaii DOE to Charter Schools: Figure Out Your Own Food

Courtesy of USDAgov via Flickr

If Earl’s Snack Shop hadn’t stepped in at the 11th hour, Kanu o ka Aina Public Charter School on the Big Island might not have been able to feed its neediest students this school year.

Earlier this year, Taffi Wise, Kanu o ka Aina’s business manager, was notified that the school could no longer get its meals from the Hawaii Department of Education.

The DOE was trying to address a scathing internal audit, published a few months earlier, that found that the department was wasting millions of dollars on its food services program, whose budget last year was about $92 million.

The January audit reads a lot like a 2012 state audit that revealed the department had lost control of its school bus budget, which nearly tripled to $75 million between 2006 and 2012.

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