School merit recognition investigation expanded to all Fairfax County Public Schools: Virginia AG

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares has confirmed that the state's investigation into Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology for withholding merit awards will expand to include all Fairfax County Public Schools.

The development comes in light of reports and complaints that multiple schools across the county withheld awards from high achieving students, Miyares said in a press release Monday.

"It's concerning that multiple schools throughout Fairfax County withheld merit awards from students ," Miyares said in a statement. "My office will investigate the entire Fairfax County Public Schools system to find out if any students were discriminated against and if their rights were violated."

The investigation began at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria after students were allegedly not notified of their national merit recognitions until after important deadlines for college scholarships had passed. Miyares previously called the situation unlawful.

FOX 5's Melanie Alnwick reported that over the weekend, speculation grew at other school communities in Fairfax County that the problems at Thomas Jefferson extended to their students too.

Families at Thomas Jefferson rallied last week and met with school Superintendent Michelle Reid about the delays in notifying students of their 'commended' student status.

National merit 'commended' students are those that did not qualify for the top award, but still placed better than most students on the 11th grade standardized PSAT Test.

The notifications came after many students had already submitted college applications for early action. Some parents said this led to missed opportunities, and allege the school intentionally downplayed the awards.