How far would you go for the best education for your child?

An African-American mom spent nine days in jail and was released last week for falsifying her address to get into a better school district. The 40-year-old Ohio mother Kelley Williams-Bolar now has a felony conviction for lying about her address so her two daughters, zoned to terrible Akron city schools, could attend better schools in the neighboring Copley-Fairlawn district.

A  Washington Post columnist, Kevin Huffman, wants to know what does it say when parents’ options are so limited they are willing to commit a felony to avoid terrible public schools.

From The Washington Post:

“In this country, if you are middle or upper class, you have school choice. You can, and probably do, choose your home based on the quality of local schools. Or you can opt out of the system by scraping together the funds for a parochial school.”

“But if you are poor, you’re out of luck, subject to the generally anti-choice bureaucracy. Hoping to win the lottery into an open enrollment “choice” school in your district? Good luck. How about a high-performing charter school? Sure – if your state doesn’t limit their numbers and funding like most states do. And vouchers? Hiss! You just touched a political third rail.”

“Williams-Bolar lived in subsidized housing and was trapped in a failed system. In a Kafkaesque twist, she was taking college-level courses to become a teacher herself – a dream she now will never realize as a convicted felon. It’s America’s version of the hungry man stealing bread to feed his family, only to have his hand cut off as punishment.” …

“As Dan Domenech of the American Association of School Administrators told NPR last week, ‘The correlation between student achievement and Zip code is 100 percent. The quality of education you receive is entirely predictable based on where you live.’ And where you live in America today depends largely on income and race.”

I have a friend with kids in one of the best City of Atlanta schools and she says people make up fake addresses all the time to be in her school.  (She says they often give the address of the Kroger shopping center down the street.)

I know many would say well buy in a better neighborhood to get a better education for your child? But what if you can’t afford to buy a house in the better public school neighborhood?

They are public schools shouldn’t everyone get the same education from them? But we know now that isn’t the case.

Now in some states, you can apply to go to any school as long as they have openings. Would that solve this inequality? Should more states do this? What effect would it have on the schools? On the property values? On the families there? Would exposing those kids to kids that can’t afford to live in their neighborhood be good? Would it be too hard for the kids with fewer resources?

What choices do parents have to get their kids a better education if they don’t have money to move to a better district or send them to a private school? What would you do?

136 comments Add your comment

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJCMOMania, mchariinstitute, Greg and Steve, Katie Ann Willis, ajcparenting and others. ajcparenting said: AJC's Momania blog: How far would you go for the best education for your child? http://bit.ly/fQ8rqC [...]

bettykoury

January 31st, 2011
5:51 am

Nice Article. I just now got Coupons of my Favorite Brands at “Printapons” search online and start saving now

Jeff

January 31st, 2011
7:09 am

I’m very proud of this woman for doing what she did. It’s a testament to so many things that are wrong with this issue. The government is forcing her, basically at the point of a gun, to take her children to a school that isn’t doing it’s job. For the life of me, I don’t understand why we put up with these types of things from our government. In the real world, when someone accepts your money and agrees to perform a duty (in this case, educate your child) and they DON’T perform to the agreement, it’s called breach of contract, fraud, ponzi scheme, theft by deception, etc. And they private individuals who do this end up in jail. Yet for some reason, we accept this behavior from our government. It’s pathetic.

madmommy

January 31st, 2011
7:40 am

I too would have done the same for my child. One way to get into the better school district in which you cannot afford to buy in, is to rent. I know that renting is not perfect, but sometimes it is worth it if it means a better education for your child. Georgia has so many private schools, it’s almost impossible to figure out which one to place your child into in the first place if that is the route you chose.

Do they offer classes for parents on understanding the GA school system? I have a four year old and am starting school searches now, but feeling overwhelmed with it all. I think it was easier to apply for college at this point, atleast they tell you what to do and expect.

MomOf2Girls

January 31st, 2011
7:49 am

I completely support this woman, and I think it’s ridiculous that she now has a felony charge against her because she was doing what she could to better her children. We sacrifice a tremendous amount to send our children to private school (driving old cars, can’t remember the last vacation we took, buy clothes used, etc), but many people can’t do it even with all of the sacrifices. It is sad that so many people are trapped into their children getting a substandard education by where they can afford to live.

There is a push in the state legislature right now for school choice. Contact your representative and let him or her know you support it. There was a rally last Tuesday at the state capitol:

http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-politics-elections/hundreds-expected-at-rally-814523.html

School choice will change the model of the child following the money to the money following the child. It is critical in providing a better education to all students, not just those who live in a good district or who’s parents are able to provide a private education. It will force schools to shape up or be shut down because of lack of students.

MomOf2Girls

January 31st, 2011
7:49 am

Theresa – my comment is lost. I put a link in it – that may be why.

[...] Originally posted here: How far would you go for the best education for your child … [...]

mom2alex&max

January 31st, 2011
8:40 am

I wouldn’t lie ,cheat or steal. I would (and I am ) sacrificing a lot to be able to afford a home in a good neighborhood and with good schools.

This woman lied and stole in 3 ways:
1. By stealing the taxpayers money in the “good district” without contributing to the taxpayer base in said district
2. By living in public housing, again she is using taxpayer’s money without contributing to it.
3. She lied in the free lunch forms, once AGAIN stealing from taxpayers and not contributing.

I am pretty liberal, but even I am getting tired of moochers who exploit the system.

NoWay

January 31st, 2011
8:41 am

Great parent for teaching that one should lie to get what one wants.

There are proper chanels for transfers. Use them!

Techmom

January 31st, 2011
8:42 am

I think it’s admirable that this mom wanted a better choice for her daughters but what she did was illegal. If schools were funded completed by general/state/federal tax dollars and NOT by local (i.e. property taxes), then we wouldn’t have this issue. But schools ARE funded by local tax dollars and therefore you must go to a school within your district. Lying about where you live means that your child’s school is not getting funding for your child (not that someone who lives in public housing is paying property taxes- other working citizens ire paying more to support this woman and her children).

I understand that some school systems are awful for a myriad of reasons and there should be better standards in place BUT it was this woman’s choice to have children when she couldn’t afford anything better than public housing. Of course I don’t know this woman’s specific situation and why she was in public housing, etc. so perhaps we should consider something more local: when Clayton Co. lost their accreditation due to their crappy school board, who took the brunt of the outcome? First the kids in Clayton Co. Second, the tax-paying citizens of neighboring counties (Henry & Fayette mostly) who saw huge increases in attendance in the schools that border Clayton Co. I live in one of those districts. Was it fair to the children living in those districts and going to those schools and the people who live in those districts and therefore pay for those schools to see attendance increase 10% due to Clayton Co’s mistakes? No. So who’s fault was it? It was the school board’s BUT who elected those school board members in the first place? The uninformed voters of Clayton Co did. Where were those kids’ parents during election time? They failed to elect upstanding people to their board who would put their children first. And yet I (& my neighbors and their children) were the ones who were going to have to pay for their mess up by having larger classes and less funds to go around? Now you tell me how fair that is?

I do feel bad for these children but that doesn’t make a parent lying about where they live any more legal or any more fair to the parents & children who are living in a district and going to school there legally.

motherjanegoose

January 31st, 2011
8:47 am

It is admirable, as a parent, to want the best for your children. It is sad to have too break the law to do it. I am certain she is not the only one who has done this. I remember a boy whose address was actually his grandma’s and his mother drove him over every morning, on the way to work. My son knew him in middle school.

We live in Gwinnett because when we looked, 20 years ago, we were impressed with the public schools. I have seen a lot of schools and do not think there is one that is perfect.

My husband commutes 45 miles O/W to work, so that our kids could go to the public school here. We did have that choice, when we were looking. We could move now but we have 7 years left on the mortgage and plan to stick it out.

Neighborhoods that have a high percentage of rentals are not typically close to the best schools. This is generally why solid neighborhoods fight apartments.

If you look at this web page:

http://www.greatschools.org/school/research.page

you can learn a lot about most schools. Incidentally, our elementary school ( that is less than 2 miles away) has dropped in the numerical rating of test scores. We have many new apartments that have been built in the past 10 years. I do see that the parent rating is still very strong!

madmommy…to me a school is only as good as the parents who send their kids and want to be involved to make it a success. I am not talking helicopter parents. You should be able to visit schools and get a feel for this.

MomOf2Girls

January 31st, 2011
8:54 am

As I understand it, the woman used her father’s address, which means that he was paying the taxes for her kids to attend school. What she did was illegal, but on the other hand, she wasn’t taking money away from another child – her father would be paying the same property taxes regardless.

In my “lost” post, I talked about school choice. It is something that needs to be addressed, and it needs to happen now. There is no reason why the child should have to follow the money versus the money following the child, and if we have school choice, then it’s not the people who can afford to live in the better districts or send their kids to private school who are the only ones who can get a good education for their children. Contact your state representative about this – it’s a hot issue right now, immediately following the rally at the capitol last week.

motherjanegoose

January 31st, 2011
8:55 am

TWG…Misty sent you her e-mail to send to me….1/25 @ 5:24 on the lice post. Did you send it?

jarvis…does your wife want me to visit her class? We mentioned it previously.

FCM

January 31st, 2011
9:02 am

OBVIOUSLY it says we do little more than pay lip service to the education most of the time. Teachers got another 2% cut I hear. SO why would anyone want to teach?

The systems need an overhaul. Parents need to be involved….and each school needs parents on a committee (not the PTA) that works on the school budget that is sent to the district/state office for approval.

Alecia

January 31st, 2011
9:10 am

Tying to figure out why her race is so important. The first sentence is a reference to her race. Are you trying to say that only an African American would do this? Or are you just surprised that there is actually an African American that cares about her child’s education? Being stuck in a bad public school is not just a black issue. There are whites as well as other races stuck in this same situation. Should she be treated different because she is African American? Should it be an issue, because she is African American? Don’t think so. It is about a parent that broke the law, because she was unhappy with the neighborhood school.

Ohio Muffin

January 31st, 2011
9:38 am

Alecia,

You are right on point. I know plenty of white parents who’ve done the exact same thing (and in some cases didn’t got to jail if they did get caught). I don’t agree that she lied but I am with her on wanting the best education for her daughters as ANY white parent would want for their children.

JJ

January 31st, 2011
9:39 am

I moved to get my daughter into a better school. We were in DeKalb and I did not want her in DeKalb schools, or Cobb, or Clayton. So I moved us to Gwinnett County. Berkeley Lake Elementary, Duluth Middle (only one year), Lanier Middle & on to North Gwinnett. I specifically bought the house we are in now, so she could go to North Gwinnett. I had heard wonderful things about that school, from friends, so I knew I was making a good move.

I tried to sell my first house during the summer my daughter was out of elementary and going into middle school. That didn’t happen and she ended up going to Duluth Middle, then the house sold the summer she came out of 6th grade. The timing was good, it happened during the summer, and she was able to make a few friends before starting a new school.

She has a few professers in college who LOVE the fact that she was from Gwinnett County Schools.

Spacey

January 31st, 2011
9:40 am

My Grandfather said they would not give me an old car when I turned 16. Why? Because I wouldn’t appreciate unless I paid for it.
I apply this same logic to most government hand-out programs.
This Mother didn’t appreciate her home school. She wasn’t working to make it better. She didn’t appreciate the education for a better life she was working on. She threw it away for 9 days in jail and to make a point.
What would I do? I would move. Easily.

[...] How far would you go for the best education for your child? Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) The quality of education you receive is entirely predictable based on where you live.' And where you live in America today depends largely on income and .. See the article here: How far would you go for the best education for your child? – Atlanta Journal Constitution (bl… [...]

SuwaneeMommy

January 31st, 2011
9:40 am

Agreed with Alecia. Wondering why you felt it necessary to identify the mother’s race in this piece.

LM

January 31st, 2011
9:49 am

When we lived in Gwinnet county, I got a permissive transfer so my daughter would not go to a middle school that was failing. I was responsible for transportation since we were not on the bus route. It was not difficult and we had to apply for the permissive transfer each year. I felt it was my best option and thankfully learned about it the last week of elementary and was able to get the application submitted and approved in a week.

I want to applaude the mother for caring about about her daughters education, but…. were there other options she could have taken? Is it right to lie to get what you want? Is is alright to lie if your doing it for the good of your children?

Didn’t Henry County have this same issue a few years ago, with many families lying about there address to keep their children out of Clayton County Schools? or was it the other way around?

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 31st, 2011
9:53 am

Suwanee Mommy — one of the bigger points of the Washington Post column was that if it had been a white mother there is no way she would have gone to jail.

Techmom

January 31st, 2011
10:09 am

@LM yes Henry had the same issue when Clayton lost accreditation… I know my post was long but that was exactly my point. It was unfair to the kids in our district to have so many kids from Clayton Co. bombarding them for teachers, space, time, resources, etc. The county investigated every “affidavit” that was signed stating the child lived in the district. Many were sent back home and there were a few who were prosecuted.

Teacher, Too

January 31st, 2011
10:14 am

This article has been vigorously discussed on the Get Schooled blog. The bottom line, she had the opportunity to settle and NOT have a felony conviction. She CHOOSE not to.

Everyone pays property taxes. But because I don’t have children, it would be okay for someone to use my address to get into a better school? Sorry, that’s not the way it works.

What did the parent do to try and make her school better? Did she volunteer at the school? Did she organize some other parents to get involved? Did she try and move her children to a better school in her district? What did she do to enhance her children’s education– did she take them to museums or the library?

Schools are a reflection of the surrounding community. The community must get involved for a school to be successful.

motherjanegoose

January 31st, 2011
10:15 am

@ LM…people are lying all over the place and children are watching.

Some folks are lying on their car registrations, they register them in another county to save on the tag fee….this has been going on for years.

Recently, I am disappointed in the integrity of people. I see a major slide in manners and common courtesy. It is all about doing what is best for ME…no matter what! This will bite folks in the butt when they are not on the receiving end.

TWG…have you sent me Misty’s e-mail?

@ Spacey…we use that logic with our kids. My daughter’s room mate got a brand new 2011 Accord. She drives a 2002 Civic with car payments. Not sure everyone is buying into your Grandfather’s idea: I wouldn’t appreciate unless I paid for it

Alecia

January 31st, 2011
10:21 am

Interesting…The Washington Post is sure that white parents don’t go to jail for the same crimes. We should have statistics demonstrating how many white,hispanic, asian, and blacks committed this crime and how many of each race went to jail. Aimlessly throwing up the race card is a little overdone.

first ime poster

January 31st, 2011
10:22 am

Personally, for me, I don’t think I’d commit fraud to get my child in a better school. I’d either find a way to move, or augment with learning at home. I think it said she was studying to be a teacher, right?

mom2alex&max

January 31st, 2011
10:26 am

Whatever on the race thing. She was made an example because she REFUSED to either take her children out or pay for the difference. So she got thrown in jail. A white mother would have had the same chances and the same result. Get off your high horse.

Techmom

January 31st, 2011
10:32 am

By the way, it was Kelly’s FATHER who lived in the district – NOT the children’s father.

mom2alex&max

January 31st, 2011
10:39 am

Techmom: correct. One of course does wonder where the children’s father is/was.

JATL

January 31st, 2011
10:43 am

This is a real “fence-straddler” for me. I listened to a piece on NPR last week regarding this case, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I don’t blame the mom one bit and I DO NOT think she deserves a felony conviction for what she did. However, people shouldn’t be allowed to lie and use services and parts of a system where they don’t contribute or pay taxes. As someone who pays HIGH property taxes and chose to do so because I have several good public school choices immediately around me, I would be infuriated if my child either didn’t get into a good charter school or couldn’t go to a good regular elementary school due to capacity issues and then found out that a certain percentage of those students shouldn’t even be there. Basically I have FAR less of a problem with this woman because her father lives in the district, pays property taxes in the district but has no child in the schools there. As someone who grew up and never used the public schools in my hometown, that part of it hits close to home. My parents have always -and my dad continues to do so -paid enormous amounts of property taxes because of the land they own there. They have never had a child in school there and never will. So, I think factors like that should count for something in a case like this.

On the other end of the spectrum -I wonder how anyone ever expects schools and school districts that are faltering to get any better if the parents who care and the decent students are always removed from them? This was the HUGE problem I had with Dekalb’s old M to M (minority to majority) system where you basically had the top 10-20% of good students on south Dekalb schools, who could lead a school and help bring it up, leaving it to go to a “good” school in the north end of the county. I also don’t understand why this mother couldn’t have rented an apartment or house IN this school district instead of living where she does. We were basically trying to decide between unincorporated Dekalb and city of Atlanta when buying our home, and unincorporated Dekalb automatically meant private school. Even with our taxes, they’re much less than two private school tuitions! But people need to think about it when they’re deciding where to live. So, I see both sides, but I still think a felony conviction is ridiculous -particularly when this woman is trying to better herself by becoming a teacher and a felony conviction will ruin that for her. So great -it’s better to have her on public assistance or in jail where we have to pay to support her? Some common sense should be exercised here.

Techmom

January 31st, 2011
10:44 am

Also to note: there were approximately 100 students investigated. 3 families paid the tuition to keep their kids there. The rest either proved residency or admitted guilt and left. Williams-Bolar is the only one who decided to take the issue to court. The district didn’t go after her because she was black- they went after her because she falsified documents!

She KNEW her future as a teacher was at risk if she was convicted of a felony and yet she still chose to fight this case?? Why not fight her actual school board & administration for a better school? Or better yet, partner with them to build a better school!!

Erica

January 31st, 2011
10:45 am

Here is the reality for many parents, especially during this economic climate. There are no gurantees when it comes to selecting a place to live based upon the schools districted for your neighborhood when you chose your home. You can be redistricted. The school’s performance can drop. Sure, in a more favorable economy, you can simply sell your home and move or if you’re a renter, try to find affordable housing (which is difficult and nearly impossible) in a good school district. Or, you can chose private school.

When my husband and I bought our home, our neighborhood elementary school was one of the best in the county. Since moving in, our subdivision has subsequently been redistricted 3 times, each time placing us in a worse district, despite citizen/parent complaints. When our child became school age, we were forced into a no win situation, either place her in the low performing, overcrowded school in our districtt, sell our home (value tanked like many Atlantans), or somehow figure out how to pay a private school tuition. So, like some of the boards posters, we are somehow scraping up her tuition, by driving ancient cars, eating cheaply, etc. And to boot, we have a 45-1 hour commute one way to her school each day. Thankfully, we are able to make this choice.

But I tell this story to say this: What happens to the parents who CAN”T afford private school tuiotion? What if they CAN’T afford to live in the best school district? Are there kids doomed to a crappy education? Yes, my moralistic colleagues, the mom did the wrong thing for the right reason, but it’s easy to sit back and make moralistic suppositions if you’ve never been in the situation. Our state’s public education system ( as evidenced by our national rankings) are absolutely pathetic and are doing our precious children and us tax paying parents a HUGE disservice. Instead of cutting funds to public education, we need to clamoring that MORE funding be applied so that all of our kids have access to a world class education.

To answer the initial question: I can’t say that I wouldn’t have seriously considered doing the same thing as this mom, if I were in her shoes.

JATL

January 31st, 2011
10:51 am

Hmmm -I’m also curious as to why her race is not only referred to right off the bat in this article but was also the first descriptor in the NPR piece I heard. White people, Hispanic people and Asians do this too! How about ” A mom spent nine days in jail…..” Our society is always going to have racial issues very much believed and furthered by stereotypes because constantly inserting people’s racial profile into every article and news story about them makes whatever issue it is about race -even subconsciously. Unless it’s pertinent to the story (and I fail to see why it is here) -it needs to be dropped. Until society tells EVERYONE -”Hey -this is where you live. Here are the schools. Start giving a damn, pay attention, show up and make them better because we can only throw so much money at them and it doesn’t seem to be helping anyway,” bad schools and bad school districts are not going to get better!

JATL

January 31st, 2011
10:53 am

@TWG -my first post about this topic is gone. Please find it!

JATL

January 31st, 2011
10:58 am

In City of Atlanta schools, as long as a school isn’t at capacity from children in the district anyone living in the city of Atlanta can request and be transferred into that school -no charge, nothing but a simple form to fill out. There are several VERY good elementary schools that are far under capacity right now. Near my neighborhood there is one horrible elementary school that is AT capacity and two nearby (one VERY close) elementary schools that are nowhere near capacity with good programs, good test scores and great teaching and administrative staffs. It shows me how much many parents are paying attention that they continue to send their children to a sorry school (and this is a school mired in the cheating scandal with a principal who is being investigated for several issues) instead of transferring them to decent schools.

FCM

January 31st, 2011
11:14 am

@ JJ I hear you on buying where you want the kid to go. When I bought last year I took a map. I drew a circles of different colors (one for each HS district)….I told the Realator “red, blue, and green are prime areas! orange and yellow are alternate. My house is in those circles.” ( I had further refined the HS areas to the ES I was willing to send them too). Realator came back a few times and said “How about this….” I would say which circle is it in….when he said it isn’t I said “Not my house.”

It took a good bit of time, but I am in a house I love….Seriously if I won Lotto I would still want my house (although I would get some landscaping in the back done). It is in a school district (Blue so 2nd choice!) I wanted for the kids. Oldest as 3.5 years until she gets to that HS but that is ok!

Granted, it is in Cobb.

FCM

January 31st, 2011
11:16 am

TWG–no all kids do not deserve the same education. It is that kind of thinking that got us in this mess. Now the education should be based on ability…so how about VOUCHERs to send kids based on how they test to different schools.

HB

January 31st, 2011
11:19 am

Sheesh. Why such heavy AJC coverage of this local Ohio issue? This was already discussed last week (with 231 comments) on the Get Schooled blog. Discussed twice if you count the follow-up about Muscogee Co., Georgia, planning to prosecute parents for illegal enrollment.

b

January 31st, 2011
11:28 am

We know that there are ways to find alternate schooling for your child. If schools have openings in this area, you can apply for a slot. There is also hardship, etc. Private school is another option. We have our youngest in private for just this reason. Public schools did not have the resources to handle his disabilities to our satisfaction. We have used our savings, have 10+ year old cars, no great vacations, etc to pay for it but we wanted to give him whatever we could to help him succeed.

The point is that there are alternatives.

LWA

January 31st, 2011
11:37 am

At the end of the day, the question still remains, why aren’t our schools equal? I can’t blame the mother for wanting a better choice for her children and seizing an opportunity.

I have women in my neighborhood who are in school now majoring in elementary education and won’t work in certain schools in the city where the need is. They want to work in schools close to home with children that look like them. I ask them all the time, why do you want to teach? Of course, they don’t have a good answer.

I do wonder why didn’t she just move in with her father.

Remember the story a few years ago about the mother who sent her kids to Marietta City schools?? She had an empty apartment in the district and after researching they told her the kids couldn’t stay. So, just renting in the district is not enought.

abc

January 31st, 2011
11:53 am

There is no guarantee or promise of equal education in this country. What is guaranteed is an ‘adequate’ education. The definition of ‘adequate’ in this case is clearly defined, and public schools that don’t meet those standards are identified, and lose their accreditation. There is local reference for this, in Clayton County and Atlanta Public Schools.

A school system well-supported by tax revenues benefits, and has facilities, curricula and staff that may well exceed the average and median. Even the average and median may well exceed the definition of ‘adequate’. One may think this is unfair to poor people. Lots of things are unfair to poor people.

catlady

January 31st, 2011
12:05 pm

I wonder if her father actually PAYS property taxes anyway (as if it matters). Many older people do not have to pay school taxes, but don’t know how it is in OH. Do know that when she had a chance to make it right, she didn’t. She deserves what she got. She stole from other taxpayers.

Should I be allowed to put my child in Mary Lin Elementary because my uncle’s wife’s sister has a house there and isn’t “using” her share of the school, so I “claim” it?

I have always prioritized where I live based on the schools. “Mama” prioritized ripping off others. Her choice; she pays. Perhaps she will learn; she hasn’t shown herself to be a quick learner so far.

Wayne

January 31st, 2011
12:12 pm

Here, we have School Choice, but they only take so many students, and it could close at any time – depends on the town and whether they want to participate. And, you can’t use busing, you’re driving your kid wherever you chose to have them attend school.

Erica

January 31st, 2011
12:14 pm

@ABC: Are you being facetious? Or are you that fatalistic? That type of attitude signals precisely why the next generation of Americans may have a significantly more difficult time in competing with our global counterparts, particularly in the areas of science and technology. In countries such as China and India, where the emphasis on providing a quality education begins almost from birth and is a priority both for parents and govermnent, our second rate public education system simply cannot compare. The world is much, much bigger than Georgia or the U.S. If we turn out mediocre, substandard students, then that is the country that we will create for ourselves.

I’m stunned at the paralell universe that some folks live in…..seriously….

penguinmom

January 31st, 2011
12:26 pm

Just out of curiosity, would ’settling’ have given her a felony also? If so, then fighting it in court was also a fight for her future job. I don’t blame her for trying to get her children the best education she could. ‘Fighting for her school’ probably wouldn’t have change anything in time to help her own kids’ education.

Personally, I think she should have tried to work out something with her father to pay him rent or something in order to live at his house until she finished her education. Then she could, hopefully, be able to afford to live in a better district.

abc

January 31st, 2011
12:33 pm

That’s the way it’s ALWAYS been, Erica. Perhaps you’ve never been poor enough to have real visibility into it.

I grew up all over the world, being the child of a career Air Force officer. Your impression of what education in the rest of the world is like is not very accurate.

HB

January 31st, 2011
12:35 pm

Penguinmom, my understanding is the prosecutors office refused to reduce the charges to misdemeanor as part of a plea deal.

jarvis

January 31st, 2011
12:38 pm

Part of my high school’s district ran the County Line between the Dekalb and Gwinett portions of Stone Mountain.

We had many kids that lived in Dekalb go to our high school. The addresses were almost indistinguishable, and this was obviously before Google Earth told the world exactly where your house was with the click of a button.

I guess my high school administration either didn’t care or was too lazy to drive out to the “borderline” addresses to see if the students’ houses were actually on the Gwinnett side of Stone Mountain.

In any case, I understand wanting the best for your child. It’s a shame they threw the book at this lady if this was all there was to the situation. Makes me wonder if there was more to the story.

By the way, the only time I ever remember someone being busted for living in Dekalb Coutny was because the child was an athlete and another school reported the violation to prevent the child from playing for Parkview.