Bowser Puts New Limits On D.C. Officials Asking To Skip School Lottery

Photo Credit: Khalid Naji-Allah / Flickr

Photo Credit: Khalid Naji-Allah / Flickr

According to WAMU's Martin Austermuhle, Mayor Muriel Bowser has set new limits on when and how current and former government officials can ask the schools chancellor to let their children skip the line to get into a public school.

In a mayoral order published Friday evening, Bowser said that if any official she appoints asks the chancellor to grant their child admission to a public school without going through the annual lottery — a power known as a discretionary placement — both the chancellor and the official have to consult the D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability before the placement is granted.

The new rules stem from an investigation by the D.C. Inspector General, who in a report completed earlier this year found that in 2015 then-chancellor Kaya Henderson granted discretionary placements to the children of six people, including Courtney Snowden, the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity. Her son was given admission to Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan, a well-regarded and highly competitive public school that in 2015 saw over 1,000 applications for fewer than 100 open seats. Read more here.