Governor Hogan Refers Inspector General Report on Baltimore City Public Schools to State Prosecutor, U.S. Attorney
ANNAPOLIS, MD (STL.News) Governor Larry Hogan announced that he has referred the Office of the Inspector General of Education’s report on widespread grade changing practices in the Baltimore City Public Schools system to the Maryland State Prosecutor and the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland for criminal investigation and potential prosecution:
“Providing a world class education for every Maryland student, regardless of which neighborhood they happen to grow up in, has been and always will be my top priority. Our administration has provided record funding for K-12 education totaling $55 billion, and embarked on the largest investment in school construction in state history.
“In addition to these record investments, I have pushed for more accountability in order to raise academic standards and root out corruption and mismanagement. In response to a number of ethical lapses in local school systems—including criminal convictions, grade-fixing scandals, and procurement improprieties—we successfully established the first Office of Inspector General for Education in state history.
“In September of 2020, the Inspector General initiated a wide-ranging investigation into allegations of grade changing practices in the Baltimore City Public Schools system. In addition to interviews with former and current teachers, administrative staff members, and managers, investigators conducted an exhaustive review of student data, records, and grade change forms.
“In its final report, the Inspector General confirmed the existence of a massive grade-fixing scheme in Baltimore City Public Schools, documenting thousands of instances of wrongdoing and systemic problems. The report reveals a staggering level of disregard for the integrity of the educational system and a clear lack of accountability at the highest levels. For years, the school system has denied and dismissed allegations of grade fixing, and tried to sweep it all under the rug. None of this should be allowed to happen in any school system, let alone in one of the most highly funded large school systems in America. All involved in this culture of corruption must be held accountable.
“After a thorough review of the Inspector General’s findings, I am immediately directing the Maryland State Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute any alleged criminal malfeasance that may have occurred. Given that in addition to substantial investments of state tax dollars, the school system receives federal funding on an annual basis, I am also referring this matter to the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland to investigate and, where appropriate, bring federal criminal charges against those who perpetrated this fraud and abuse.
“Beyond the legal implications, there has been a clear moral failing by school administrators who appear more concerned with their own image than with the well-being of their students. Too many Baltimore City children have been denied the education they deserve and robbed of opportunities to thrive and succeed. This scandal has broken the bonds of trust between city officials and parents, students and taxpayers.”