The Ventura County panel found Thursday that Oxnard Union High School District was negligent for failing to remove the aide from Megan Spitzer's special education class in 2007.
Kristen Santoyo was caught on video stealing the $5 a day that Megan's parents gave her to buy lunch at Camarillo High School.
Megan was unable to tell anyone but her parents' suspicions finally prompted an investigation.
Santoyo, an admitted methamphetamine user, pleaded guilty two years ago and got a 180-day jail sentence.
The attorney for Megan's family, Christina Stokholm, says the 16-year-old girl is thriving at a different school.