Two top D.C. school officials have been demoted in the wake of criticism of their apparent roles in withholding accurate enrollment figures from the school board and D.C. Council.
In a statement issued last night, School Superintendent Andrew E. Jenkins said he has removed Arthur G. Hawkins, a deputy superintendent, and David Huie, the school system's chief of research, from their current positions and reassigned them to other jobs in the system.
Jenkins's actions came two days after a school system audit of enrollment discrepancies became public. The audit, which criticized the system for not counting students competently for years, cited Hawkins and Huie specifically for helping keep the accurate -- and much lower -- enrollment secret.
The system's budget director told auditors he received instructions from Hawkins to "pull out" the accurate enrollment figures from documents the council had requested in February during its deliberations on the schools budget. The figures showed enrollment had declined to 81,301 students, about 6,500 fewer than the school system expected to have.
Huie's office, meanwhile, was cited in the audit for not informing Jenkins and the board twice last year when it found significantly lower figures.
Jenkins could not be reached for comment last night on his decision to reassign the two officials. In his statement, Jenkins described the moves as "necessary first steps" toward resolving the system's enrollment controversy.
Neither Hawkins nor Huie could be reached for comment. In the audit, Hawkins said he did not think the lower enrollment numbers were to be made public. The report does not say why he felt that way. Jenkins has said he did not order Hawkins to remove the enrollment statistics.
School board member R. David Hall (Ward 2), chairman of the board's finance committee and a close friend of Hawkins's, also has said he did not instruct anyone to withhold numbers from the council.
Hawkins will now be director of school system facilities, and Huie will become an executive assistant. Hawkins will be replaced by Shelton Lee, who last directed schools security division. Gilbert Hoffman, the system's former athletic director, will take over for Huie.