Welcome to Essential Education, our daily look at education in California and beyond. Here's the latest:
- All L.A. Unified schools now are back in session after closures due to wildfires last week.
- The L.A. school board will consider a plan to increase transparency by putting more information online.
The man credited with leading an initiative that brought healthier meals to Los Angeles’ public school students has been charged with embezzlement, forgery and mismanagement of funds, prosecutors said Tuesday.
David Binkle, the district’s 52-year-old former food services director, was charged last week with multiple counts of misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement of public funds, conflict of interest, forgery and perjury, according to a statement issued by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Binkle, whose work reducing the sodium and fat intakes of students in the country’s second-largest school district won praise from former First Lady Michelle Obama, is accused of siphoning roughly $65,000 worth of Los Angeles Unified School District funds to a culinary club he ran, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors also accused of him of funneling some of that money into a personal bank account.