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Schools Crack Down on Proof of Residency

Posted by Jennifer Ortega | July 24, 2012 / 04:48pm | Local News
AMORY, Miss. (WCBI) - Sometimes it's an honest mistake. And sometimes it's a parent searching for something better for their child. Whatever the case, the state Department of Education has school administrators adding one more thing to their list to double and triple check when schools start next month. And they are encouraging parents to make their jobs easier.

Schools are requiring parents to show more proof of residency this year. It's sometimes called line jumping. Parents using all sorts of techniques to get their child in a school where they don't actually live. While it may make some parents happy, it costs school districts, sometimes the ones who need the money most.

School districts are cracking down on forms of residency to make sure state funding is evenly distributed. "Each school district is paid per student that is enrolled and that's a huge deal for districts because if that school obviously is not on your roll then your MAP funding from the state Legislature is directly effected by that," said Scott Cantrell, Superintendent of Monroe County.

With schools less than 2 weeks from beginning, officials are preparing for another academic year. They're making sure students attending their schools are in the right district. "A lot of times it's just a mistake and it's an oversight by the parents, but sometimes when the lines are so close they do not know which school district they are supposed to attend. That's why we like to verify all that information on the front end," said Craig Shannon, Columbus Assistant Superintendent. It hurts to ask a child to uproot and move to a different school. That's why districts are requiring two forms of residency from parents or guardians. In many districts, that's even if the students have been in the school or district the year before.

 Proof of residency can include a drivers license or any type of utility bill with a home address on it. But schools know some parents still will try to fudge to get their child somewhere else. "They could be just dissatisfied with the teacher they had before, dissatisfied with athletic opportunities, dissatisfied with extracurricular opportunities like band or chorus or plays," added Cantrell. If a child is not attending the right school, they are asked to transfer to the school or district where they actually live. If you have a question about your school or proof of residency, call the school nearest you for information.
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