Statement on Mayor’s Veto of School Promotion and Graduation Fairness Emergency Act of 2018

Today, Representative Markus Batchelor, the Ward 8 Member on the DC State Board of Education, released the following statement:

In her first veto since taking office, Mayor Bowser has rejected the School Promotion and Graduation Fairness Emergency Act of 2018, passed by the Council 12–1, to ensure that students in the Class of 2018 were not adversely or unfairly impacted by adult mistakes at DC Public Schools.
Despite widespread instances of non-enforcement or misuse of DCPS attendance systems and policies, followed by hardline enforcements following scandal mid-year, the Mayor has decided to curtail the graduation plans of students who will fail courses not because of a lack of demonstrated mastery, but solely because of attendance issues. She lodged her veto a day before the Council begins summer recess, a tactic used to prevent an override by the Council.
This situation is the result of pervasive mismanagement, precipitated by an outputs-driven, overly punitive culture that begins in central office. This is another attempt to hold together the broken narrative that our education leaders hold no responsibility for past mistakes, transferring the blame — and burden — to our students.
My hope is that the Council will once again stand with our students and take action before they adjourn for the summer.