NEWS FLASH: Did Capital Prep corrupt School Choice Lottery process to enroll student-athletes.

Last August, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference stepped in to investigate serious allegations of inappropriate even illegal, recruitment of student-athletes by Capital Prep Magnet School.

The CIAC Board of Control authorized an independent investigation and then met to review and act upon the recruitment investigation reports that had been lodged against Capital Preparatory School.

In a letter dated August 23, 2013 the Associate Executive Director of CIAC wrote to Capital Prep Principal Steven Perry on behalf of the CIAC Board of Control.

The letter included the following passages:

“….the Board expressed serious concerns about two issues both of which could be viewed as a form of recruitment.

  1. It appears that student-athletes involved may have been admitted to the school through other than the lottery process and may have been given special preference because they were athletes. 
  1. Allowing student-athletes from another school to attend conditioning sessions prior to attend the school is not in the spirit of CIAC rules and gives the appearance that recruitment was taking place.

The Board of Control expects that Capital Preparatory School will follow all procedures set forth by the State School Lottery Office for admission for the applicants and no special treatment or preference will be given to any student due to their athletic talent.  Additionally, all procedures for “wait list” students be followed and no preference be given to any student-athlete.  Any future complaints regarding the admissions process will necessitate the school producing documents from the State Lottery Office that substantiate all students were properly admitted through the lottery process or wait list procedures.

Furthermore, the Board expects that Capital Preparatory School will inform all coaches, volunteer or otherwise, that students from other schools may not be invited to participate in any conditioning sessions with Capital Preparatory school teams prior to the student officially entering the school.

As agreed….all expenses associated with the investigation will be bourne (sic) by Capital Preparatory School.  Enclosed is an invoice for the expenses related to the investigation…”

This CIAC letter raises many important questions.

What were the purported preferences given to student athletes and was the Hartford Superintendent, Hartford Board of Education, the Connecticut Commissioner of Education and State Department of Education aware of this investigation and corresponding reports and letters?

If the Hartford Superintendent Kishimoto knew about this investigation, what action did she take to ensure Capital Prep follows state laws, regulations and rules?

If the Hartford Board of Education was briefed about what appear to be extremely serious allegations against Capital Prep, what steps did the Board take to ensure Capital Prep follows state laws, regulations and rules?

And finally, if the State Department of Education and its Office of School Choice knew about this report and the related allegations, what steps have they taken to investigate Capital Prep’s potential violation of state laws, regulations and rules.