KCPS worker fired in student attendance scandal sues

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A fired Kansas City Public Schools secretary who was among several employees accused of falsifying attendance data in a bid to help the district regain accreditation is suing.

The Kansas City Star reports that LaQuyn Collier says in a lawsuit filed recently in Jackson County Circuit Court that district administrators retaliated against her after she told investigators that the practice of faking student attendance records was district-wide and initiated by district leaders at the time. Her suit claims retaliation, wrongful termination and race and sex discrimination.

Collier is the third former KCPS employee implicated in the attendance fraud case to sue the district. Collier, who is Black, claims in her suit that while she and another employee accused of inflating attendance were fired in 2019, another employee, who is white and was also linked to the fraud, was allowed to retain her job.

The attendance was falsified before Superintendent Mark Bedell came to Kansas City in 2016. KCPS officials say they learned about the falsified data from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in January 2019. Because attendance also helps determine state funding, the district previously had to repay the state $192,730.

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