An internal investigation reported by The Washington Post found that out of a sample of 100 students at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, more than half are not D.C. residents and do not pay non-resident tuition of approximately $12,000 per year.
Multiple news outlets reported that the information was shared with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in December, but only became public in February.
OSSE Superintendent Hanseul Kang said that the investigation at Ellington is ongoing. When the investigation is complete, OSSE will send the information to the attorney general’s office for possible prosecution.
In 2011, the District enacted a law that requires the attorney general’s office to get parents to pay financially and legally for violating residency rules.
D.C. Council member David Grosso, chair of the council’s education committee, said he is frustrated by the latest in a line of recent missteps for the public schools system.
“The number of scandals plaguing our education system is staggering,” Grosso said. “I am particularly frustrated and disturbed by [the] 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,” he said. “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.”