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Old 11-17-2010, 08:38 PM
2,539 posts, read 3,785,378 times
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Central Dauphin School District cracks down on Harrisburg students illegally attending classes Dauphin County, Central PA

Don't try this with you kid unless their here illegally!

Central Dauphin officials are taking a hard line against families that try to sneak their children into the district’s schools.

So far this year, the district’s two pupil service officers uncovered and prosecuted three adults, all of whom reside in the Harrisburg School District, on charges of fraudulently enrolling their children at CD.

With money tight and the district possibly having to raise real estate taxes for 2011-12, it is not a problem that can be ignored, officials said.

“We have a lot of students to educate, and we have to be responsible to our taxpayers,” board member Brian Faleshock said at a meeting this week.

One woman was ordered to pay more than $8,000 in back tuition, according to court records.

At least one mother who was caught up in the enforcement effort said she was just trying to keep her daughter in a school where she was doing well.

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico, who was aware of and involved with the prosecutions, said districts are interested only in “the most egregious cases, where parents are trying to get around the system.”

“It is criminal activity,” Marsico said. “Where do we stop? What happens if 500 parents decide to enroll their kid in the neighboring district?”

In two of the Central Dauphin cases, students were in school for no more than a month before the situation was discovered.

Latoni Crowder of Harrisburg was found guilty Nov. 8 and ordered to pay $1,359 in restitution for illegally enrolling her 14-year-old daughter for 23 days, according to court documents.

On Nov. 2, Timothy Barnes, also of Harrisburg, was charged with a misdemeanor of false swearing during an official proceeding, according to court documents. Barnes is accused of giving false information to the district when he enrolled an 18-year-old boy between March and April of this year, according to documents.

He will be arraigned in Dauphin County Court on Dec. 16.

One woman recently was found guilty and ordered to pay the district $8,167 in back tuition for illegally enrolling two teen girls for 114 days.

On Oct. 12, Rhonda Nelson was found guilty of providing false information. Court records indicate she is appealing the conviction.

Working phone numbers for Nelson and Barnes could not be located. No one was home at Barnes’ residence in Allison Hill, and it appeared Nelson no longer lived at her last known address.

Crowder, located through the cousin whose address she used to keep her daughter in Central Dauphin East Middle School, said she knows she was wrong but felt trapped.

After 16 years of steady work as a licensed practical nurse, Crowder lost her job at the Spring Creek Rehabilitation Center in August 2009. Despite submitting applications at numerous personal care and home care facilities, she’s had no luck landing a job, she said. With four children to support, she said unemployment benefits didn’t cover the $1,150-a-month rent on her apartment in the Central Dauphin district.

She searched in vain for affordable housing in the district but could find places only in Harrisburg.

She and her daughter, a distinguished honor roll student, worried about what awaited the 14-year-old in the Harrisburg district, Crowder said. After the girl was refused a spot as a tuition student at Central Dauphin — the district, Crowder said, told her it didn’t offer that — Crowder said she did what she thought was best to preserve her daughter’s opportunities and began using the cousin’s address.

Her daughter was barely in school for a month this fall before Crowder was caught. She said her daughter is adjusting well in Harrisburg.

“I wasn’t trying to pull anything over on anybody,” Crowder said. “I just wanted to keep her there one more year.”

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association, a statewide advocacy group for elected school boards, said prosecution of parents for this type of offense is unusual, though fraudulent enrollment is not unheard of.

Most of the time, a parent is caught, sent a tuition bill and asked to remove the student, said Stuart Knade, PSBA’s chief legal counsel.

Peggy Curran-Hays, a spokeswoman for the Camp Hill School District, said the few times it discovered similar situations, the district simply sent letters asking that the student be removed.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:52 PM
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I can understand why the parents would want to enroll their children at CDS because Harrisburg SD is a pretty bad district (there's racial tensions between the black and Hispanic students) that's poorly managed they still can't go to a school they don't pay property tax in. Unless they are an illegal alien of course.
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:24 AM
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
36,785 posts, read 47,666,489 times
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My system in MD has problems with students from DC coming to the schools. Where I live has problems with students from where I work coming down and trying to go to school.
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