Superintendent: No wrongdoing at Laney High School

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Richmond County's out-going Superintendent says it's case closed in a grade-changing scandal.

It came late Wednesday afternoon after News 12 started asking questions.

Dr. Frank Roberson said they ended the grade-changing investigation, after interviewing former Laney High School Principal Tonia Mason. Dr. Mason resigned in June amid another investigation that one dealt with educational funds.

Roberson says after a three day investigation, he found no wrong doing of staff at Laney High School. He says teachers and administrators were accused of changing grades to help students graduate this past May.

"We look to see if procedures were followed. It's a very simple thing to get our fingers around," said Supt. Dr. Frank Roberson.

Roberson says his office, Human Resources and the School Attorney interviewed teachers and former Principal Tonia Mason. We're told the students were given extra work to improve their grades.
and when those grades improved all of the grade change forms had the required signatures.

We asked Roberson whether better grades meant more money for the school.

"There is no monetary gain associated with that index for the school or the teacher," said Dr. Roberson.

In 2010 Laney, Josey and Glenn Hills high schools were each given a $1 million in federal grant money.

A Josey High School teacher tells us that money goes towards student achievement. The same teacher tells News 12 school staff members could get money from that grant if they meet certain criteria.

Dr. Roberson says teachers can get money from that grant, but all the money has to go back into their classrooms.

Original story

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- After an investigation into possible fraudulent grade changes for more than 100 seniors at Laney High School, the superintendent said there was no wrongdoing.

Multiple groups were looking into claims from Spring of 2014, Superintendent Dr. Frank Roberson said.

Roberson said he was informed of the claims at Lucy C. Laney High School on Tuesday.

Dr. Tonia Mason was the principal at the time of the alleged incidents. Mason resigned after an investigation of funding into certain educational accounts. Mason took over as principal of the high school in 2010.

There is no financial incentive for schools to graduate students, Roberson said.

The superintendent's office, human resources and the school attorney are involved in the ongoing investigation, Roberson said.