Officials with Prince George’s County Public Schools announced recently that a hotline had been established in connection with the ongoing investigation into grade fraud within the school system. Designed to offer those with information quick access to authorities and a protocol for reporting potential irregularities, the hotline would also field accusations from the public about alleged fraud in graduation rates.
“The only way to get to the bottom of the potential fraud is to give parents, students and members of the public with even the slightest bit of information that could be helpful, access to investigators,” Greenbelt resident Maureen Woody told the AFRO. “Parents need to know if their children have been properly educated, and those responsible for passing them along need to be punished. We have to demand the best for our young people.”
The investigation, led by the D.C.-based firm Alvarez & Marsal Public Sector Services, began in August following claims that schools CEO Kevin Maxwell and members of various schools, engaged in fraudulent grades tampering to increase graduation rates. Four members of the County’s school board alleged evidence existed documenting hundreds of students had graduated without meeting state graduation requirements.
“Our students and alumni deserve to embark on the next phases of their lives with full confidence in their diplomas from Prince George’s County Public Schools,” Maxwell initially stated in a letter to State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon.
A Request for Proposals (RFP) for the audit was issued in July 2017 by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
“Ensuring that all Maryland children have access to a world-class education is a top priority of my administration, and I am deeply troubled by these allegations regarding one of our school systems, which have now been brought to my attention by multiple sources,” he wrote on June 25. “I am hereby requesting that the State Board of Education take immediate steps to being a complete, thorough, and exhaustive investigation into these allegations.”
Alvarez & Marsal is expected to release their findings in a report on Oct. 31.
The hotline number is 833-535-6103 while the email address is PGCPSSpecialReview@alvarezandmarsal.com.