Maryland taxpayers foot $365,000 salary for Baltimore administrators implicated in school grading scandal
Category: News & PoliticsVia: texan1211 • one month ago • 4 comments
By: Barnini Chakraborty (MSN)
© Provided by Washington Examiner
An apology from the Baltimore City School Board president and its CEO this week over allegations a high school passed hundreds of failing students seemed to hit all the right notes.
But a deeper dive shows that even though the administrators admitted they knew about the grading irregularities at Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts two years ago and replaced the principal, she continued to collect a six-figure salary paid in full by Maryland taxpayers.
According to online records, Tracy Hicks, who had been the principal of the West Baltimore school for nearly a decade, retired this January. However, she collected a paycheck for 17 months after allegations of grading irregularities and truancy cover-ups surfaced.
LARRY HOGAN CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION INTO BALTIMORE HIGH SCHOOL ACCUSED OF PROMOTING FAILING STUDENTS
Baltimore school leaders said Hicks and an assistant principal were placed on administrative leave in 2019 while the charges were investigated. That investigation has yet to be completed.
Based on her 2018 salary, Hicks earned nearly $190,000 sitting at home. Assistant Principal Joy Kwesiga still works for Baltimore City Public Schools but is on administrative leave. Since the investigation began, she has earned $175,000. Together, taxpayers have footed $365,000 in wages to the top two administrators implicated in the ballooning school scandal.
On Tuesday, Baltimore City Public School's CEO Sonja Santelises publicly apologized about what had taken place inside Augusta Fells.
"I want to take this opportunity to apologize to those students and families who may be affected," Santelises said.
School Board President Linda Chinnia did not provide details about the grading issue but called the situation "painful and unacceptable." She added that she was aware of "significant shortcomings" by school staff three years ago. She also claimed the school district acted immediately and had conducted routine audits, selected a new principal, and has been working with students to make up lost credits. What she left out was that the former principal and the vice president had still been collecting massive paychecks.
Project Baltimore broke the news of the school scandal earlier this month.
The report found that hundreds of students were failing basic classes such as English and math, with the top grade point averages at Augusta Fells hovering at 0.13.
One of the parents profiled in the piece was Tiffany France, who said she thought her 17-year-old son would be receiving his diploma in June. But she learned that, after four years of attending the west Baltimore school, her son would be moving back to the ninth grade.
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The Project Baltimore report led to an outcry in the state, with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan demanding answers and calling for a full investigation.
Tags:News, Maryland, Baltimore, Education, Larry Hogan, Schools, High School
Original Author:Barnini Chakraborty
Original Location:Maryland taxpayers foot $365,000 salary for Baltimore administrators implicated in school grading scandal
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