Former DC Schools Chancellor And Racial Justice Scholar’s Corruption Goes Unpunished


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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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The former D.C. Public Schools chancellor received a reprimand attached to no actual punishment for corrupt practices during her tenure, according to a Thursday report.

The D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability issued a reprimand of Kaya Henderson for favoritism when admitting children of government officials and others to certain schools, reported The Washington Post.

The former chancellor reportedly helped Rashad M. Young, a top cabinet member for D.C. Dem. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser. Henderson said that D.C. officials “do not necessarily get paid as much as we should” when asked why she helped. Young makes $295,000 a year. One other parent of the seven whom Henderson helped also served Bowser.

Henderson “is hereby reprimanded” for her actions, according to the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability document obtained by WaPo. The document stated that Henderson had no intention of violating the D.C. code of conduct, but “now recognizes that her conduct of granting certain discretionary transfers while denying others gave the appearance that she failed to act impartially.”

The chancellor can bypass school lottery results and directly enroll students in schools, but D.C. rules require this power to be used only when it would “promote the overall interests of the school system” and “would be in the best interests of the student.” Daniel Lucas said in the report that while Henderson did not commit a crime, she did not follow guidelines.

Henderson denied a request from a deaf Vietnamese immigrant for her daughter to attend a school in which she could learn sign language.

Georgetown University selected Henderson in October to be a distinguished scholar in racial justice at the school.

While her tenure saw better graduation rates and standardized test scores from students, the former D.C. Public Schools chancellor previously made headlines for trying to solicit a $100,000 donation from a D.C. food contractor, even though a D.C. ethics rule prohibits employees of the city from lobbying for donations from a company with which the city holds a contract. (RELATED: DC Official Lobbied City’s Own Food Contractor For Big Donation)

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability for comment, but received none in time for press.

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