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Statement of Councilmember Grosso on residency fraud investigation at Duke Ellington School of the Arts: “The number of scandals plaguing our education system is staggering”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Jacques Arsenault

Ed. Note: Back in July 2016 we had a lengthy discussion about a “a huge portion of DC schools students actually live in Maryland”.

“Dear PoPville,

According to this Washington Post article, D.C. officials looked at 100 students at Duke Ellington and found that 1/2 were not D.C. residents. The finding was shared with the Superintendent and the Attorney General’s office in December, but the superintendent’s office told the investigators “to slow-track it because of the risk of negative publicity for the school system during a mayoral election year. It is unclear how far the probe has progressed since then.” Duke Ellington’s “self-declared mission is to offer a premiere arts education to D.C. children who lack the financial means to develop their talents elsewhere. A high rate of residency fraud could indicate that mission is suffering as D.C. taxpayers fund the education of children who live outside the city.”

From Councilmember David Grosso’s office:

“The following is a statement from Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large), chairperson of the Committee on Education, regarding reports of an investigation into residency fraud at Duke Ellington School of the Arts:

“The number of scandals plaguing our education system is staggering. I am particularly frustrated and disturbed by today’s revelation of an alleged cover-up by the Office of the State Superintendent for Education, and possibly the Office of the Attorney General, into an investigation of residency fraud in order to politically benefit the mayor. Such actions are beyond unacceptable.

“We cannot tackle the public education challenges D.C. faces when this administration continues to withhold public information from residents, the Council, and the Committee on Education.

“I will be asking Superintendent Hansuel Kang about this troubling report at today’s OSSE performance oversight hearing.”

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