Virginia schools under investigation after failing to notify students of national merit recognition

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 9:24 AM EST
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PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. (WJLA) - Thirteen high schools in Virginia say they neglected to inform their students that they won national merit recognition in time for those students to apply to college and scholarship opportunities.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin called for an investigation into what happened.

Prince William County Public Schools confirmed that two high schools did not notify students of their recognition in a timely manner. Students should have been notified between March and June of last year.

The school system blames accidental administrative oversight for not telling students but said they have now notified 16 students of the prestigious accolade.

Four other high schools in Loudon County did not notify students of their national merit recognition.

Seven high schools in Fairfax County admitted that they also did not notify students.

The school systems say it was all oversights, but Youngkin suggests a larger policy may be at play at the school systems.

“They have a maniacal focus on equal outcomes for all students at all cost, and at the heart of the American dream is excelling, is advancing, is stretching and recognizing that we have students of different capabilities,” Youngkin said.

Youngkin said his administration is focusing on increasing education standards, which he argues were lowered under previous governors.

“This overarching effort for equal outcomes is hurting Virginia’s children, and it’s hurting even worse the children that they aspire to help, children in the Black community and children in the Hispanic community and children who are in the socioeconomically challenged community and Virginia’s kids with disabilities. They have in fact suffered even more and so we’ve got to turn this around,” he said.

As the attorney general’s investigations continue into Fairfax County Public Schools, the superintendent said she is committed to making things right and being transparent about the key findings in the school’s own review.

Virginia State Attorney General Jason Miyares said he will investigate every complaint and try to determine if any school system violated Virginia’s Human Rights Act.