Michelle Rhee may no longer be D.C. Public Schools chancellor, but she still has earning power.
In the Ross Elementary School charity auction held last weekend, a lunch with Rhee brought a top bid of $750. Kaya Henderson, the current chancellor, was close behind, bringing $550.
Lee Granados, a Ross parent and president of its PTA, said that Rhee outperformed other celebrity lunches. Joe Solomonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, garnered $250. Chuck Todd, the NBC political reporter, brought in $500.
The winning bid, Granados said, came from a group, Connect for Education Government Solutions, that bid online and was willing to pay as much as $1,000 for the lunch.
It seems Rhee’s national celebrity might have paid off for Ross students: Last year, before Rhee launched her StudentsFirst advocacy group and started touring the country, a lunch with Rhee went for $525.
Granados also said that the auction, now in its third year, has become a much bigger deal with more prizes and more bidders. “We’ve significantly grown in terms of attendance. We don’t necessarily focus on the parents and the kids; we focus on the whole community,” she said, adding that “because it’s online, god knows how many people the auction went out to.”
The auction raised $40,000 for the Dupont Circle school. Other DCPS schools, especially in Ward 3, have long held high-stakes auctions to raise money for student programs.