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  1. #1
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    CT - Homeless women arrested for sending her son to school

    I hope I did this right I've only done this once before here is the link.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42634046...s-hartford_ct/

    I would of thought they would have been happy that this mother was getting her child to school everyday despite her living conditions.
    Last edited by lmmay; 04-24-2011 at 12:29 AM. Reason: mispelled word in title

  2. #2
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    Ludicrous !
    What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you....
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  3. #3
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    I don't get this part:

    Tonya McDowell, 33, is accused of stealing $15,000 -- the cost of her son's public education -- from the Norwalk School District, according to the Stamford Advocate. She was arrested Thursday.

    How on earth did she get her hands on 15K from a school district. Heck - if they're handing out that kind of dosh, sign me up

    Mel

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lmmay View Post
    I hope I did this right I've only done this once before here is the link.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42634046...s-hartford_ct/

    I would of thought they would have been happy that this mother was getting her child to school everyday despite her living conditions.
    I don't think it had much to do with her living conditions, as she had a place to stay at night, but had to be gone during the day.

    She was arrested and is facing first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny charges.

    MOO

    Mel

  5. #5
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    This case exemplifies how broken our system is.

    From my read of the article the woman did not literally steal anything. It has to do with taxation and school funding. Basically, property taxes go to pay for schools. Therefore, in order to register a child in a school, at least one parent or caregiver must live in the school's district. This causes a huge problem for homeless people with children. For a number of reasons. For one, if the individual does not enroll their child in school, the child can be removed from them and be placed into foster care, while the parent can be arrested, charged for neglect and jailed. Otoh, if the parent tries to enroll the child, as was this case, they can face charges for, as the article notes, "first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny charges."

    Iow what happened to the "No Child Left Behind" educational initiative? ( link ). I must admit, this sort of thing steams me to no end.



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  6. #6
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    Wouldn't this typically be a civil case ?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgardner View Post
    I don't get this part:

    Tonya McDowell, 33, is accused of stealing $15,000 -- the cost of her son's public education -- from the Norwalk School District, according to the Stamford Advocate. She was arrested Thursday.

    How on earth did she get her hands on 15K from a school district. Heck - if they're handing out that kind of dosh, sign me up

    Mel
    The district--on average--spends $15,000/child to educate them. Usually this is a civil matter, but due to bugetary constraints this year, schools are now starting to press charges as theft of services. If she gets a lawyer who knows anything about the educational system, she can get that amount knocked way down and limit or eliminate jail time. While $15,000 is the average, most of a school's expenditures go to special education students, not regular ed students. While I work at another school, there is a school in my area that has a single student with three (yes, three) full-time staff members with him at all times--a teacher, a TSS, and a psychologist/behavior specialist. He is well-above the $8,000 we spend/student on average.

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    What in the hello has are country come to when we are arresting and charging parents for sending their child to a school outside of their district ? What a bunch of carp....
    What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you....
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pandora View Post
    The district--on average--spends $15,000/child to educate them. Usually this is a civil matter, but due to bugetary constraints this year, schools are now starting to press charges as theft of services. If she gets a lawyer who knows anything about the educational system, she can get that amount knocked way down and limit or eliminate jail time. While $15,000 is the average, most of a school's expenditures go to special education students, not regular ed students. While I work at another school, there is a school in my area that has a single student with three (yes, three) full-time staff members with him at all times--a teacher, a TSS, and a psychologist/behavior specialist. He is well-above the $8,000 we spend/student on average.
    OMGosh - this is crazy! So they want to charge her for her sons education because she's homeless. I knew this world was skrewed up - but this takes the cake!

    MOO

    Mel

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    So I read this as meaning that no child of a homeless family can attend school?

    I can understand that schools are eager to make sure there is no district-hopping due to funding issues, but it seems to me that the imperative to help families break the cycle of poverty is much more important.

    What is the mother to do? Isn't not educating your child also illegal? There has to be some sort of help or solution in this situation.


  11. #11
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    http://norwalk.patch.com/articles/ma...wasnt-homeless

    "Mayor Richard A. Moccia said Thursday that the assertion by McDowell that she was homeless is false, and that in fact she was living in Bridgeport when she enrolled her child in the Norwalk school system. He said McDowell was able to pay a woman $100 a week for babysitting services and was able to make bail, casting further suspicion."

    Also: "The McKinney-Vento Act allows states that homeless parents may 'enroll the child or youth in any public school that nonhomeless students who live in the attendance area in which the child or youth is actually living are eligible to attend.'" (Section 722 (g) 3 (A) ii)"

    http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/poli...ter-216688.php
    ^Drug charges
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  12. #12
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    That Act is a bit unclear to me - does that mean that the parents may be homeless, but the students have to live in the area?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhyaDuck? View Post
    So I read this as meaning that no child of a homeless family can attend school?

    I can understand that schools are eager to make sure there is no district-hopping due to funding issues, but it seems to me that the imperative to help families break the cycle of poverty is much more important.

    What is the mother to do? Isn't not educating your child also illegal? There has to be some sort of help or solution in this situation.
    BBM

    Why yes it is. We rec'd a letter from the DA of San Diego (Bonnie Dumanis) regarding this just a few weeks ago. Thank goodness it was a blanket letter because I about fainted.

    This lovely letter (at the link below) threatened me with criminal liable, up to a year in jail and/or a $2K fine.

    Thankfullly, my son goes to school regularly, and is a A-B student. However, he does suffer from asthma and gets bronchial infections over and above the average student -- so yes, he has stayed home. But he's NEVER been truant.

    http://www.challengerms.org/ourpages...y%20Letter.pdf

    When I got the letter I'm thinking WTH - why are all these middle school kids not going to school?

    Now we have a homeless student trying to go to school and can't!



    Mel

  14. #14
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    It seems that the problem here is that she used the babysitter's address to establish residency in the school district although the friend's apartment where they were staying was in another district. I still don't think anything will be gained by criminal charges.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shear22 View Post
    It seems that the problem here is that she used the babysitter's address to establish residency in the school district although the friend's apartment where they were staying was in another district. I still don't think anything will be gained by criminal charges.
    It really is all about the money! I remember when we came off the mountain back to San Diego, and I re-enrolled my son (for October I believe) and the registrar said "oh, darn, I really wish he could be here for September because we could use the funding". It may have been a quarterly thing - don't know.

    Huh? Wah?

    It was an odd conversation to say the least!

    Mel

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