Discrepancies in the Hamburg School District’s school meals program will cost the district more than $1.1 million, according to the Ashley County Ledger’s coverage of a Monday night Hamburg School Board meeting.

A state audit found improprieties in the district’s free and reduced-price lunch eligibility reports. It found the district’s child nutrition director, who has since resigned, altered applications for free and reduced-price meals to enable ineligible students to qualify for free or reduced-price meals, according to the audit report. 

As a result, the district will write a check for $256,264 to the state to correct overpayments from the 2011-2012 school year, Hamburg Superintendent Max Dyson told the Hamburg School Board Monday night.

Because of the problems and an audit which revealed over 300 free and reduced lunch forms which were not proper, Dyson said the district also lost two months of revenue for the 2012-2013 school year, amounting to about $525,000 in addition to the funds repaid.

Dyson told the board that on an examination of the one date of October 1, 2012, the district had 1,111 students who qualified for free or reduced price lunches. That number is about 67.82 percent of the students and does not meet the 70 percent threshold required for the total free lunch program. As a result, the district’s aid dropped from $1,033 per student to $689.

The reduction will cost the district about $603,000 for the year, in addition to the funds repaid from 2011. The end result is a loss of $1,129,000 to the district for the year.

Click here to read the Ashley County Ledger’s full report on the meeting