Investigators: Former Head Of DC Schools Gave Preferential Treatment To Officials

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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Investigators say that former head of the D.C. public schools system Kaya Henderson gave preferential treatment to other government officials during her time as chancellor.

These investigators, from the D.C. Office of the Inspector General, say Henderson violated the school lottery program in 2015 by approving students of officials to transfer to certain desirable public schools, even though they lived outside of school boundaries, NBC Washington reports.

Henderson engaged in this sort of activity at least seven times, according to the investigation, but it’s unclear the identity of those who apparently received preferential treatment.

She used a regulation that permits a discretionary transfer “when the Chancellor determines that the transfer would be in the best interests of the student, and that the transfer would promote the overall interests of the school system.”

NBC Washington obtained a memo of the inspector general memo which states that the deputy mayor of D.C. reaffirmed to the chancellor’s office in April 2016 the importance of not abusing the system and showing favoritism.

In June 2016, Henderson resigned.

The D.C. public school system insisted the two events were unrelated.

Henderson, meanwhile, believes she did nothing wrong.

“As the IG report notes, in my capacity as Chancellor, I made a very limited number of discretionary placements for students when extraordinary circumstances applied,” she said in a statement. “I stand by those actions. The IG does not provide evidence that placements were made improperly, only that they were discretionary.”

“I am deeply disappointed by these continual attacks on my integrity in an attempt to besmirch my personal and professional reputation,” she added.

Since the findings in the memo were of an administrative rather than criminal nature, the inspector general did not forward any findings to the attorney’s office for prosecution.

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