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what happens if you enroll your child in another town's school district using a relative's address? - Page 2

post #21 of 112

Lurker coming out of the woodwork (we homeschool).

 

This is interesting because our area has no problem with students changing districts, I think depending on enrollment for the local kids.  My neighbor goes to one school district, I have 3 girls in my girl scout troop (out of 9 girls, including my 2 hsed girls, so that's nearly half!) that attend schools in a different district from which they live.  Interesting how different things our in other areas.  I don't personally know any kids who attend our local school district!  (District has about 75 students, K-12).

 

Enjoying the conversation, especially about the ethical implications. :sip

post #22 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

That is an unethical practice. I would tip off this child's school. Say what you will..... but I'm the third generation in my family to re-locate to a good school district once my kids were school age. Better to own a small house in a good school district than a mega mansion in a sad one. Living in a good school district also helps the re-sale value on your home as well.

 

If you can afford this, then it's a great solution and (agreed) entirely without ethical questions.  However, many people cannot afford to relocate.  Many reasons why not, take your pick.  This generation is faced with an entirely different reality regarding homeownership.  

post #23 of 112

We're homeschoolers in a city where this is a very hot topic. 

 

Our property taxes are nearly twice those in the surrounding area. They are so high that our mortgage underwriters couldn't believe it when we bought this house. We reap lots of rewards, though, and I don't mind the high taxes. We have an awesome, free compost system (everything! soiled paper, bones, all food scraps, yard waste) and once a month we get to pick up as much of the finished compost as we can carry. We have a fast response for street repair. We have loads of bike boulevards. And of course, there are the schools. 

 

I went to one of them in high school (actually, my mother lied about our address! I am pretty glad she did because otherwise I might not be here typing... we lived in one of the most dangerous districts at the time) but beyond that I have no idea what they are like. But I know Berkeley residents are awfully proud of them. And I know we have a pretty serious out-of-area enrollment issue. People who are against it say it is causing overcrowding since the school only increases size or adds new classrooms based on expected census data and birth rates, but we have enrollment rates that don't add up. Since I don't use the school system I have no opinion on the matter.

 

There is a nearby city with incredibly rich schools that has like zero enrollment fraud, and that is because they have pretty hard-to-fake enrollment criteria. But our city has few requirements. 

 

I don't feel like it is unethical. People can't relocate to this city. It is unbelievably expensive to rent or buy. The only reason we got to is we bought at the lowest moment and we bought a dump to fix up. People were so happy for us for getting into this city for the schools. I had to disappoint and say, we homeschool. I have issues with the public school system which have nothing to do with funding. 

 

All that said, there is a process here where you can get a permit to attend out of district schools. I don't know how hard it is, but it might be worth trying. Then your kids wouldn't have to lie and you'd feel more secure. And to the person who suggested that if you can afford to shuttle your kids to and fro you should be able to afford to relocate... I don't see how that is based on reality at all. I made my commute in high school on public transit. I bought monthly passes and it was cheaper than the gas if someone drove me. We were in no position to relocate. 

 

ETA: It isn't the difference between a small house and a megamansion. It is the difference between being able to find a place to live and simply not being able to. 

post #24 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by tabitha View Post
 

We're homeschoolers in a city where this is a very hot topic. 

 

Our property taxes are nearly twice those in the surrounding area. They are so high that our mortgage underwriters couldn't believe it when we bought this house. We reap lots of rewards, though, and I don't mind the high taxes. We have an awesome, free compost system (everything! soiled paper, bones, all food scraps, yard waste) and once a month we get to pick up as much of the finished compost as we can carry. We have a fast response for street repair. We have loads of bike boulevards. And of course, there are the schools. 

 

I went to one of them in high school (actually, my mother lied about our address! I am pretty glad she did because otherwise I might not be here typing... we lived in one of the most dangerous districts at the time) but beyond that I have no idea what they are like. But I know Berkeley residents are awfully proud of them. And I know we have a pretty serious out-of-area enrollment issue. People who are against it say it is causing overcrowding since the school only increases size or adds new classrooms based on expected census data and birth rates, but we have enrollment rates that don't add up. Since I don't use the school system I have no opinion on the matter.

 

There is a nearby city with incredibly rich schools that has like zero enrollment fraud, and that is because they have pretty hard-to-fake enrollment criteria. But our city has few requirements. 

 

I don't feel like it is unethical. People can't relocate to this city. It is unbelievably expensive to rent or buy. The only reason we got to is we bought at the lowest moment and we bought a dump to fix up. People were so happy for us for getting into this city for the schools. I had to disappoint and say, we homeschool. I have issues with the public school system which have nothing to do with funding. 

 

All that said, there is a process here where you can get a permit to attend out of district schools. I don't know how hard it is, but it might be worth trying. Then your kids wouldn't have to lie and you'd feel more secure. And to the person who suggested that if you can afford to shuttle your kids to and fro you should be able to afford to relocate... I don't see how that is based on reality at all. I made my commute in high school on public transit. I bought monthly passes and it was cheaper than the gas if someone drove me. We were in no position to relocate. 

 

ETA: It isn't the difference between a small house and a megamansion. It is the difference between being able to find a place to live and simply not being able to. 

 

Just had to post to say :yeah to this line! What an assumption that was that everyone who can commute to another town can afford to buy a house.

post #25 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by boater View Post
 

 

ETA: It isn't the difference between a small house and a megamansion. It is the difference between being able to find a place to live and simply not being able to. 

 

Just had to post to say :yeah to this line! What an assumption that was that everyone who can commute to another town can afford to buy a house.

 
Try as I might, I can't find anyone saying that specifically.  There was this comment:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oread View Post

I If a parent has the resources to shuttle their kids to a different district, chances are they also have the resources to get involved and improve the less appealing school. 
 
And there was philomom's comment about moving to a new district, which I commented on, but I'm not seeing where anyone mentioned that if someone can afford to commute, they can afford to move.  Maybe there has been some editing?
post #26 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

That is an unethical practice. I would tip off this child's school. Say what you will..... but I'm the third generation in my family to re-locate to a good school district once my kids were school age. Better to own a small house in a good school district than a mega mansion in a sad one. Living in a good school district also helps the re-sale value on your home as well.

 

This is the reference, I believe. 

post #27 of 112

Yes, though even that one doesn't mention affording to commute=affording to relocate.  It's been a non-issue here.  So far.

post #28 of 112
I think it depends on the local area. People can and do relocate to our area especially for the schools, both wealthy folks and people living below the poverty line.

However, although our local schools are great there are plenty of families in our district that homeschool or send their kids to charter or private schools. The neighboring town has some really interesting magnets and a school of the arts high school but I don't know of anyone faking their address to go there.
post #29 of 112

None of the good schools around here have housing available for the lower or middle class.  The housing zoned for our good schools is affordable to those who can pay rents many times over what my family can- we have tried to move and cannot find housing for less than 3x what we can afford.  Of course the schools are good because they are filled with kids whose parents have achieved wealth and expect their children to do the same, and they use that wealth to improve schools with high taxes, and expected school donations of thousands a year per family.   

post #30 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post
 

 

would you count as unethical the many families who choose to homeschool in the circumstance of living in a failing school district?? because the result is identical in terms of pulling parental involvement away from struggling schools.

 

i am idealistic too, but i think giving parents the right to make choices about where to send their children to school is KEY to fixing the BROKEN public school system in our country.

 

I struggle with this myself because I do think homeschooling can be great, and in some ways drastically better than public schools (or even private ones for that matter). I do see a difference between pulling your children from public school in order to home school and pulling your children from a struggling public school to a public school in a wealthier neighborhood though. Lying about what district you live in in order to get into a more desirable school isn't doing anything to fix or even remotely challenge a broken education system, it seems more like playing the system to your advantage (and the disadvantage of others) instead of actively protesting the system, which is one way to look at homeschooling. 

 
I totally understand that parents doing what they see as best for their children, and sometimes there is no "good" decision to be made - we all make unethical choices sometimes and that doesn't necessarily make someone a bad person. This article got me thinking about it though and seems relevant to the conversation
 
post #31 of 112

As to the original question, around here I think you are asked to pay tuition for the years that you were in the wrong school, and that's not cheap - essentially private school tuition. You can legitimately come from outside, and pay tuition if you can afford it/want to do that. I don't know if they prosecute. You have to demonstrate residency every few years. I do think it's unethical. I would find a way to homeschool or move to protest a very poor school rather than lie about my address. However, since it's not possible for everyone to make use of those options, I feel as if we collectively have to do what we can to improve all schools.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by beanma View Post

I think it depends on the local area. People can and do relocate to our area especially for the schools, both wealthy folks and people living below the poverty line.

However, although our local schools are great there are plenty of families in our district that homeschool or send their kids to charter or private schools. The neighboring town has some really interesting magnets and a school of the arts high school but I don't know of anyone faking their address to go there.

My area is the same, and that's where I think the appeal earlier in the thread to stay in the public schools if possible gains some traction. If your school is downright unsafe and failing to educate your child, I completely get that you would leave if you have a means. But I live in a wealthy town that has monetarily poor pockets with the attendant effects in the schools - nonetheless, all of the schools are safe and capable of giving the kids a good education. Still, a lot of parents bail out of our school because it's the lowest income one (also Title 1 as outlined above). Often they have only "heard" about it, but not visited or talked to the staff, parents whose kids currently attend, etc. We do have that critical mass of parents with resources who can do good things for the school, so I hope the tide turns toward a more positive reputation so we can keep the ball rolling. I, for one, am not complaining about being in a Title 1 school, and my kids having classrooms with only 15 kids - it's a great plus - and the kids who need extra help getting it.

post #32 of 112

For folks having a hard time understanding why parents would not send their kid to a bad school we could imagine a situation that removes the veil of privilege from the equation.  

Let's say you have paid to live in a safe neighborhood with a good school.  Unfortunately a hurricane just came through last weekend and your school will be rebuilt over the next few years, so all the kids got reassigned to other nearby schools.  Your kid got assigned to a high poverty school on the wrong side of the tracks.  Over half of the students are performing below grade level.  The classes are one and half times larger than at your old school.  There is no gifted program and there are no AP classes.  There are metal detectors at the entrance because violence is a reality in this community.  

Are you going to create a PTA where there is none with a dozen or so other families and 'turn this school around'?  Or are you going to 'abandon' this struggling school and the kids inside of it for your own selfish interest of your child?

post #33 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellyfruit View Post
 

For folks having a hard time understanding why parents would not send their kid to a bad school we could imagine a situation that removes the veil of privilege from the equation.  

I don't know that you can remove  privilege from the discussion. You have to have money/resources/connections to "abandon" your school, i.e., get a transfer, move residences, pay for private school, even homeschool, regardless of the circumstances causing the "abandonment."

 

Of course, I understand why people would not send their kids to a truly bad (read dangerous, truly failing) school if they have the means to leave. What I was saying above is that the definition of "bad" is pretty broad in my area and includes schools I think are actually not that bad, including my own kids' schools (which have a reputation as being "bad" in some quarters). There is this gray area where these schools could actually excel with some more parent momentum. YMMV.

post #34 of 112
I guess I'm having a hard time with parents who lie and cheat the system. What happens when your kid figures it out? How can we teach our children to be truthful and honorable if we aren't?
post #35 of 112

I went out of district for a year in high school.  One of my brothers had a waiver.  I can't remember if the other did.  I used the address of (childless) relatives who lived in the district.  Our local school was not just under-performing, it was dangerous.  No one homeschooled in the 80s, I'd never even heard of it, and both of my parents worked full time.  If you can no longer afford private school (and private schools were not expensive where I grew up) and your local school is dangerous and under-performing, what do you do?  Is your honesty really more important than your children?

post #36 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

I guess I'm having a hard time with parents who lie and cheat the system. What happens when your kid figures it out? How can we teach our children to be truthful and honorable if we aren't?

 

I suppose for me and my ethical sensibilities, it would entirely depend on what the problem was.  

 
"Underperforming" can simply mean poor test scores, and I don't put much by test scores.  An individual student's performance in such a situation might be helped simply by parental attentiveness.  If it was simply a tag of "underperforming", then I would totally agree-- compliance with the law trumps this particular problem.
 
If there is a bad professional culture in the school that cannot be surmounted by parental involvement, then I would waffle.  And if the school has been downright dangerous, then my ethics dictate that the law is not more important than my child and if I could not homeschool or move (which would of course be the first choices) then I would consider all options.
 
Call me a scofflaw (I am.... ) but in certain situations, I see lying and cheating (as a last resort) as the lesser of two bad choices.  And if my kid would ask about this (or any other seeming contradictions, since I am actually a homeschooler) I would have no trouble explaining, just like I explain that I have no trouble jaywalking when there are no cars in sight, or any other tricky situation.
post #37 of 112
I suppose I have very little moral compunction with lying in order to get my children the education that I feel is appropriate for them. My big problem if I were to do it though is reconciling my uneasiness with putting others in a position of lying. Especially my children. They'd have to lie too. No judgment on those who do it though. I'm just not sure I can make that leap for myself.
post #38 of 112

"You have to have money/resources/connections to "abandon" your school, i.e., get a transfer, move residences, pay for private school, even homeschool, regardless of the circumstances causing the "abandonment.""

 

The thing is, the privilege thing is complex, isn't it? I'm assuming that in the US you have a similar house price situation to the UK: being in the catchment area for a "good" school pushes up house prices? That muddies the water for me. I can't think of many arguments against private schools that don't also work against schools in expensive catchment areas.

 

What we're basically saying is that to get your kid into a desirable school you have to pay. You either have to pay fees, or rent/mortgage. Either way, the real problem to my mind is not that some people are using private services, homeschooling or moving into the area to pay for better education for their kids but that we're in that situation at all, that schools aren't all of a high enough standard 

 

I think the whole issue of good schools vs bad schools is complex and I don't think the most desirable schools are really always the best. But generally, I have a bigger problem with the fact that some kids are financially excluded from good schools, and that the state-all our taxes-go toward schools that only the very rich can access, owing to the cost of living in the area, than one individual family bucking the system and lying. Not sure of the system in America but here, the family who can't afford to live in the right area are still paying for the school.

post #39 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

I guess I'm having a hard time with parents who lie and cheat the system. What happens when your kid figures it out? How can we teach our children to be truthful and honorable if we aren't?
I guess I want my children to be intelligent and Sid enough to realise that sometimes rules re wrong, and they may have to break them ala jean val jean.
post #40 of 112

I teach in one of those great public schools that people lie to get their kids into. Keep in mind as you read that I teach high school.

 

There is an enormous amount of stress on the kids; they know they can be caught at any minute. I deal with the tears and stress of these kids- it's not worth it.

.

If they are involved in any type of out of school activity that is competitive- sports, choir, quiz bowl-anything- if that team wins with the out of district child on the team, the whole team has to forfeit if that child is found out. We had a local basketball team that had to forfeit a championship because a player who SAT THE BENCH was on the team. Crushing for everyone and you can just imagine the blowback on the student on social media.

 

If you truly feel that you need to put your child in an out of district school, legally sign over guardianship to the person whose address you are using. Our schools are funded by the local parishes- the state puts very little money into the schools. Therefore, the good districts do check because the money going into the schools is paid by the residents and businesses. Even teachers who don't live here can't bring their kids- although that is changing next year (too late for me- my kids would hate it if I pulled them out of their schools now; they go to Catholic single gender schools that cost a fortune).

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