ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that he has asked the Maryland State Board of Education to advance the Inspector General for Education’s recommendation for a full independent investigation of widespread grade changing practices in Baltimore City Public Schools.
Read the text of the governor’s letter to the chair of the State Board of Education.
“Marylanders are demanding better outcomes and more accountability for the taxpayer dollars entrusted to the local school systems charged with providing a high-quality education for every single Maryland child—with no exceptions,” writes Governor Hogan. “Now more than ever, we must work together to provide the accountability, integrity, and efficiency in our public education system that Maryland families expect and deserve. … I am hereby requesting that the State Board of Education take immediate steps to begin a complete, thorough, and exhaustive investigation into these allegations, beginning with the issuance of the emergency procurement recommended in the Inspector General’s report.”
Independent Performance Audit. In a final report released June 7, 2022, the Inspector General confirmed the existence of a massive grade-fixing scheme within BCPS, documenting systemic problems resulting in thousands of instances of wrongdoing. Among its key recommendations, the report called for an emergency procurement for an independent performance audit of BCPS “to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of selected functional areas related to the governance and administration of grading policies and procedures.” BCPS has expressed an openness to an external review, and the Inspector General has further stated that the review should include school years 2016 through 2022.
“This follows similar actions I took in 2017 when I called on the State Board of Education to conduct an investigation into allegations of widespread systemic fraud and corruption in the Prince George’s County Public School System, which successfully uncovered substantial irregularities in grading and graduation certification, allowing the school system to take remedial action,” writes Governor Hogan. “In order to root out corruption and damaging practices that jeopardize our children’s futures, we must demand full transparency and swift corrective action wherever instances of wrongdoing are uncovered.”
Referral to State Prosecutor, U.S. Attorney. Last month, after reviewing the Inspector General’s findings, the governor referred the report to the Maryland State Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute any alleged criminal malfeasance that may have occurred. Additionally, given that the school system also receives some federal funding on an annual basis, the governor referred the matter to the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland to investigate, and where appropriate, bring federal criminal charges if warranted.