The school system could crack down on students who are illegally attending school in Wake.
School board members have asked that the policy committee review what steps should be taken if a student who is not living in Wake County is found to be attending school in the district without permission. Non-Wake residents are generally only in the district if they're paying tuition.
While some of you guys may scoff, there are a lot of people who live in the surrounding counties who would much rather attend school in Wake.
(Before you guys get caught up into a debate over illegal immigration, the U.S. Supreme Court says students who are in the country illegally are required to be educated in the public schools. They're valid county residents. No such guarantee exists for legal U.S. residents who are not valid residents of the district they want to attend.)
The issue came up earlier this month when Asst. Supt. Chuck Dulaney gave information on the proposed tuition rate for the 2009-10 school year. (The board approved on Tuesday a tuition rate of $4,290 in 2009-10, up from $4,083 this school year.)
Dulaney explained to board members that tuition isn't charged to make money. But he said they needed to set a rate to deal with those few cases a year when tuition is charged.
Dulaney said tuition is charged when a non-Wake student is found to be in the district. There are also times when a family moving out of Wake wants their children to continue their education here, such as rising seniors.
Dulaney said they'll discover a few cases a year in which families who live near one of the borders with Wake are sending their children into the district. He said sometimes it's a mistake by the family and other times it's deliberate.
Dulaney said they don't want to disrupt a child's education so they'll offer the the option of paying tuition to stay the rest of the school year. But they're expected to leave after that point.
The families are also expected to pay tuition for the years they were illegally in Wake.
Dulaney told the case of one family that was in the district using a false address for eight or nine years. They balked at paying the rather large bill for back tuition.
School board member Patti Head questioned why they're letting non-Wake residents stay at a school when they're making people move who are legal Wake residents but who are using a false address.l. While they're not paying tuition, they are told they have to go to their correct school.
School board member Lori Millberg agreed that while they might not kick out a student with just a month to go they might do so in September.
We'll see how this get handled by the board's policy committee.