Skip to comments.School District Shenanigans: Seeking a Better Education Means Jail Time for Parents
Posted on 10/06/2011 6:52:23 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
It's truly amazing how often we can read news reports or see stories on the televised news and not be stunned by the apparent inability of the media to recognize irony when it walks up and calmly smacks them in the face.
As a case in point, the Wall Street Journal, in an article titled "The Latest Crime Wave: Sending Your Child to a Better School," explores the growing effort of parents whose children are relegated to inferior schools and who therefore do what bureaucrats find criminal -- they attempt to slip their kids into a superior school even if it means lying about their address.
The subject of the article is Ms. Kelley Williams-Bolar, and African-American mother of two daughters, who had the temerity to react to her frustration with the dead-end education being offered in her district by re-registering the two girls using her father's address, which happens to be in a different, and better, school district.
Yes, technically, this is an illegal act (in fact, felony grand theft), and Ms. Williams-Bolar has had to spend nine days in jail, as well as risk her ability to earn a teaching license herself, so one can safely assume that the authorities take this very seriously indeed.
The article also notes that other parents, in Connecticut, Kentucky, and Missouri, have been arrested, have been tried, and are currently awaiting sentencing for identical criminal activity.
The Journal also reports:
From California to Massachusetts, districts are hiring special investigators to follow children from school to their homes to determine their true residences and decide if they "belong" at high-achieving public schools. School districts in Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey all boasted recently about new address-verification programs designed to pull up their drawbridges and keep "illegal students" from entering their gates.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
So an illegal immigrant can go to the school, but the child of a legal resident citizen who lives in that district (the father) can not.
I wrote the following letter to the editor of our local newspaper in 2002:
Item: If your local grocer doesn’t have very good bread, and you go to a different grocer so that your children can have better quality bread, there is a bill the state legislature that would punish you for doing that. Oops, I have that a bit wrong. Your local grocer makes you pay a tax so that everyone’s children can have bread, but you go to another grocer to get better bread for your children, you will be punished.
I know, I still don’t have it exactly right. OK. Let me try again. Your local school makes you pay a tax so that everyone’s children can get an education. Your local school isn’t very good, so you send your kids to another school to get a better education. You will be punished if a bill under consideration by the state legislature is passed.
Question: Why do you have free choice of stores to buy food for your children, but no choice of schools to send your children for their education?
I suspect that there are a lot of answers to be given, and that most will boil down to two main reasons: 1.) There are people with vested interests in denying you the choice, people who are working as hard as they can to deny you choices in other areas of your life, and 2.) Those people think you are not smart enough to make the right choices.
How does that impact on the performance of the schools? Dismally. Why? For the same reason that the health care system is beginning to crack. Because the consumer of the service does not pay directly for the service.
It is the government, HMO’s, or insurance companies that are paying directly for health care services. He who pays the piper calls the tune, and with the checks being cut and signed by other than the consumer, it is not the consumer that the provider has to please. While this system has created a sense of entitlement in the consumers, that they are entitled to health care paid for by someone else, they are not happy with the result, mostly because the someone else, who writes the checks, controls the delivery of the service.
Likewise with schools, taxpayers pay for the schools, and often those taxpayers are the consumers, ie parents, but the taxpayers do not directly pay and do not sign the checks. It is government officials that do that, and therefore, the schools are operating under the assumption that it is the government officials who have to be pleased, and not the parents.
In the good old days, schools were controlled by locally elected boards of education. They were more reponsive to parents’ concerns because the board members were local civic leaders, and often parents, themselves. Since the panic over the Soviets winning the initial rounds of the space race, the federal and state governments have taken an increasing role in funding, and controlling, public schools. Since the 1960’s federal and state governments have used civil rights and the war on poverty as excuses to further tighten their grip on public schools, taking control ever further away from local communities, and the consumers.
I need to update it. The unions have the government officials either cowed or owned, further ruining the education our children get.
The property owners paid for the education of the local kids. You are stealing the property owners money when you illegally send your kid to their school. Send your kid to your school, if your school sucks work on making it a better school.
Here is the problem in places like Ohio. Schools are funded by property taxes that local residents in that district vote on. Some communities decide they are willing to pay more property tax for school systems than others. Some decide to pay less and therefore have a lower property tax.
Now, if somebody who is paying less property tax in their community or has elected a substandard board of education decides to lie about residency and ship their kid into a district that has decided to pay more, imo they are robbing that community by not paying into that specific district.
Currently, the funding method in Ohio has been deemed unconstitutional, yet it remains in place. As long as it does, I see this as stealing from a community.
A solution may be to allow the resident to divert the portion of their property taxes from their local district to the external one of their choice, while making up the difference in taxes (if any) by a writing an additional tuition check. That will send the substandard district spiraling down the drain, but I suppose so be it.
Even if property taxes are lower in the “better” district, the money from the kid’s home is still going to the substandard district. If they could find a way to divert these, then we might have a better method of public school choice.
RE: You are stealing the property owners money when you illegally send your kid to their school
What if the kids from other districts get bussed to the property owner’s school district?
One of my favorite books growing up.
“Francie’s heart turned over. This was it! This was the school she wanted to go to. But how could she get there? There was a strict law about attending school in your own district. Francie’s parents would have to move to that neighborhood for Francie to go to that school. Francie knew Mama wouldn’t move just because Francie felt like going to another school. She walked home slowly thinking about it.”
From a Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Francie is in a school with abusive teachers in immigrant Brooklyn. Her father fudges an address, and Francie realizes she must never do anything wrong to have a letter sent home. She also takes to cleaning the house in front of the address in which she is supposed to live, which gives the owners a view of her as a very strange girl. But the new school changes Francie’s life.
If things were only so simple. For anyone interested in a book about turn of the century immigrant Brooklyn, I highly recommend it.
Bait and switch? No thanks.
While I sympathize with her problem, and at one time thought school vouchers would be a good thing, I have changed my mind on this.
Until the parents train their children to be good citizens, dress appropriately and not speak in street slang, they are not ready for a better education. School vouchers will only redistribute the low class morals to the good schools.
I have seen this first hand, when they desegregated the schools way back, (good idea, and OK with me), BUT, my children said the blacks already attending, changed over to the ghetto black because of pier pressure.
The buck stops at the parents doors, clean up your act before infesting us with their ilk, stop depending on someone else to do your job.
If I was paying 7k a year for property taxes and school taxes because I picked the school before the house to ensure my kids went to a good school and kids whose parents picked an area that had crummy schools and pay littl to no property taxes, that would piss me off big time. Glad to see the freeloaders getting jail time. That is hypothetical since I do pay those property taxes but send the kids to Catholic school.
It reads as if it’s the mother’s father...I.E..grandfather.
It is unwise to claim that parents are seeking to avoid their local school because their schools don’t have as much money. Generally, poor districts get more state money than do wealthy, high taxing school districts. You can not compare property taxes and think you are measuring school spending.
It’s not the money - it is the nasty local population which is creating socialist racism, chaos and violence in the schools that the parents are trying to avoid. The schools are like prisions that holding inmates.
Big difference in how you see and address the problem!