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A.P. Hill expected to lose accreditation after SOL cheating investigation

Posted at 10:16 PM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 23:39:28-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Several employees from Petersburg City Schools are no longer with the school system after school officials found evidence of SOL testing irregularities at A.P. Hill Elementary School.

Governor Terry McAuliffe has granted hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars to A.P. Hill since 2014.

The money went to fund year-long instruction after the state denied the school accreditation two years in a row because of low SOL scores.

When announcing grant funding in September 2016, the Governor touted the fact that the school's SOL scores had dramatically improved: 33 points in math and 30 points in reading.

But Wednesday, Petersburg schools announced they let several employees go after finding evidence that SOL testing procedures were violated this spring.

"Of course you would be concerned," School Board member, Bernard Lundy Jr, said.

His district includes A.P. Hill.

"As far as determining what took place, I have no idea," Lundy said.

"Is that money wasted in your mind?" CBS 6 Problem Solver investigator Melissa Hipolit asked Lundy.

"No, I don't say its money wasted because we don't, I haven't dissected it, so I can't really speak on that," Lundy responded.

June 12 tip to the Virginia Department of Education prompted the A.P. Hill investigation.

The state's investigation into the testing irregularities is ongoing, but Petersburg Schools say they expect the state will ultimately withhold accreditation.

Still, Lundy said the school will move forward.

"We have many things in place. Dr. Newsome and his staff have worked very hard so I only look to what is in front of us as to the progress we will make," Lundy said.

The school system said it will now review all practices and processes.