Would a student lie about being homeless to get assigned to a particular school or to ride the bus?
Those were some of the questions that popped up during this week's facilities committee meeting. Eddy Adams, senior director for transportation, said there have been cases when students claiming to be homeless demand bus service.
Adams said people have actually seen cases where students are dropped off from a Mercedes and claim to be homeless. He acknowledged it could be a friend of the student who is driving the car.
Needless to say, that raised questions among school board members.
Board member Lori Millberg said Wake needs some way to verify a child's homeless status based on the lengths people will go to in order to get a particular school assignment.
Adams said transportation can't verify a child's homeless status. This led to Millberg asking whether anyone can check.
Board member Patt Head, chairwoman of the facilities committee, said they'll check with Marvin Connelly, assistant superintendent for student support services.
Under board policy, a student who claims to be homeless must be enrolled immediately even if the child isn't accompanied by an adult and cannot provide proof of residency, school and immunization records, birth certificates or other documents.
The burden of proof is on the school district to show that a child is not homeless. The district's regulations and procedures lists a lengthy dispute process.
Administrators have said they're only following state and federal law on the issue.
Click here for a 2007 article from Kinea that helps explain how districts deal with homeless students