Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) on Sunday called the revelation that numerous public schools in the state withheld academic merit awards from students indicative of the “maniacal focus on equal outcomes.”
After it was first revealed that a single Fairfax County high school intentionally held awards back from students, additional reporting last week shows that at least seven schools in the county admitted to doing the same.
What started off as allegations of one of our most prominent schools, has revealed a systematic problem. Now, there are news reports that seven schools in NOVA have delayed notifying Virginia students of their academic achievements. This is unacceptable. https://t.co/KyrYEwZeLt
— Governor Glenn Youngkin (@GovernorVA) January 14, 2023
Each of the schools failed to notify students who received the National Merit Scholarship commendation, causing most of them to be unable to include the award on their college applications. The prestigious honor is generally seen as very important in scholarship and college admission applications.
Youngkin told ABC7 in an interview that the state’s Attorney General Jason Miyares (R) is investigating the intentional decision by the schools to withhold the awards. Miyares began his formal investigation at the governor’s request and based upon a report from parental rights activist Asra Nomani.
The governor said Fairfax County Public Schools are working directly against the well-being of students.
“At the heart of the American dream is excelling, is advancing, is stretching and recognizing that we have students that have different capabilities. Some students have the ability to perform at one level, others need more help, and we have to allow students to run as fast as they can to dream the biggest dreams they can possibly dream and then go get them,” he said in the interview.
Youngkin said the Fairfax County schools superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid said that her main objective is that every student achieves equal outcomes “regardless of the price.”
Reid authorized a $450,000 payment to “Equity Collaborative,” a consulting firm specializing in woke ideology and “equity” based initiatives.
Youngkin described that the payment to the consulting firm corresponded with school principals deciding that they “were going to systematically withhold accolades and a path to college admission and scholarships from high-performing students.”
ABC7 reported that Reid answered a request for comment by sending an email in which she claimed she would “be transparent to the community about the findings in Fairfax County Public Schools’ review of the situation.” In addition, the station’s report indicated that Reid has met with parents of students at three of the schools involved in the scandal.