New Castle News

New Castle

May 18, 2013

New Castle Schools: Finding pinpoints nonpaying out-of-district pupils

(Continued)

NEW CASTLE — ADDRESSING PROBLEM

DiGiammarino asked if the district can look back through registration files and make sure the required documentation was provided.

Ambrosini cautioned the district has to wait until the audit is finalized by the auditor general’s office to obtain the names in question, but that does not stop the board from adopting a procedure for future registration.

Gabriel commented that policing out-of-district residency is not a typical practice for the superintendent, rather, that usually is left to the individual building administrators who register them.

However, Gabriel said he was made aware of two out-of-district families at the time covered by the audit who were not paying tuition.

Gabriel said he talked to the two families in question and they had the documentation the district would require that indicated the students were residents. Those included sworn and notarized affidavits, he said.

“I was satisfied, but obviously the auditor general wasn’t satisfied. This is not something I slept on.”

He said he also sent letters to the parents/guardians saying that after a certain date, “your child no longer will be permitted to enter the buildings.”

He said the superintendent’s office has a folder about six inches thick containing follow-up letters from the district to families.

The district had employed someone to verify residency of students who were reported as non-residents, but the board eliminated the position two years ago as a budget cut, Gabriel pointed out.

EXISTING POLICY

The district has a non-resident policy, viewable on its website as “policy manual” which is under the district tab, that gives the school board responsibility for requiring the appropriate registration documentation.

It states the board shall require that legal documentation with proof of dependency or guardianship or a sworn statement of residential support, be filed with the board secretary before an eligible non-resident student may be accepted in the district.

The board may require a resident to submit additional information to substantiate a sworn statement, in accordance with guidelines of the state department of education, the policy says.

The board reserves the right to verify proof of residency, dependency and guardianship and to remove from school attendance a nonresident student whose documents are invalid, according to the policy.

The policy also requires the superintendent to recommend to the board the admission of qualified applicants.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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