Saturday, October 01, 2011

America's Latest Crime Wave: "Educational Theft"

From today's WSJ editorial by Michael Flaherty, president and cofounder of Walden Media, which coproduced the 2010 documentary Waiting for "Superman":

"In case you needed further proof of the American education system's failings, especially in poor and minority communities, consider the latest crime to spread across the country: educational theft. That's the charge that has landed several parents in jail this year. 

From California to Massachusetts, districts are hiring special investigators to follow children from school to their homes to determine their true residences and decide if they "belong" at high-achieving public schools. School districts in Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey all boasted recently about new address-verification programs designed to pull up their drawbridges and keep "illegal students" from entering their gates.

Other school districts use services like VerifyResidence.com, which provides "the latest in covert video technology and digital photographic equipment to photograph, videotape, and document" children going from their house to school. School districts can enroll in the company's rewards program, which awards anonymous tipsters $250 checks for reporting out-of-district students.

Only in a world where irony is dead could people not marvel at concerned parents being prosecuted for stealing a free public education for their children."

HT: Sean Bellamy McNulty

8 Comments:

At 10/01/2011 9:28 AM, Blogger Robert Kafarski said...

Only in a world where irony is dead could people not marvel at concerned parents being prosecuted for stealing a free public education for their children."
Wouldn't it be nice if education was free! it turns out that the costs of education are paid by taxpayers and largely by the taxpayers of the municipality in which the school is located and serves. Residents of the city or town have every right to ensure that they are not paying to educate people who don't live in their school district. This issue takes on greater importance in high property tax areas as homeowners are forced out of their homes by onerous tax burdens.

 
At 10/01/2011 10:49 AM, Blogger Scott Grannis said...

In California, and I suspect in many other states too, public education is paid for by the state, not by the locality. Schools receive money from Sacramento according to the number of students enrolled and attending classes. This makes the whole issue even more ironic, since good schools actually benefit from "illegal" students.

 
At 10/01/2011 11:00 AM, Blogger Joshua said...

To echo Robert, it's a bit disconcerting to miss out on one of the most basic concepts in any econ course - There is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. However, I agree with the spirit of the post - its sad to see parents who care so much about their children being prosecuted.

 
At 10/01/2011 11:23 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Well yet again another shining example of why the so called 'public school system' should be done away with...

"This issue takes on greater importance in high property tax areas as homeowners are forced out of their homes by onerous tax burdens"...

Let's not forget how the ambulance chasers in black helped screw up the situation too..

 
At 10/01/2011 11:48 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

The public school system is not being run for the benefit of the students or the parents. It is being run exclusively for the benefit of the teachers unions.

Many of these "high-achieving public schools" in more affluent areas are only considered such because of the performance of a small minority of students whose performance draws up the averages.

Not As Good As You Think - The Myth of the Middle Class School: Part 1, Part 2

It's past time to end the union monopoly on education and institute a voucher system.

 
At 10/01/2011 6:55 PM, Blogger Craig said...

prosecuted for stealing a free public education for their children

Of course, these parents have already paid school taxes (in one form or another), so it's not exactly correct to say they're looking for "free" education for their children at all, is it.

Just a good one.

 
At 10/02/2011 3:04 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

The only thing this encourages is for people to look for, and out the people that do the "verification".

 
At 10/03/2011 8:37 PM, Blogger wingke6 said...

Second irony: the teachers unions and other liberal proponents would welcome illegal immigrant children with open arms.

 

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