The Washington Post

Michelle Rhee a big draw for DCPS school auction

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.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.


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