ELMHURST – Following the Board of Education’s decision last week to seek tuition from the family of a nonresident student, District 205 received another tip about a student possibly living outside district boundaries.
“That is a good thing,” said Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Chris Whelton about a recent increase in tips.
Whelton said after two students were disenrolled last school year, the district began to see more tips, and the same happened following last week’s board meeting.
“The community has let the board know that to be good stewards of their money they expect the Board of Education to be diligent in providing our own students the very best education that we can possibly provide them with, but also to be diligent about making sure that we are educating just our own students,” said Board President Jim Collins at the Oct. 22 meeting.
When students first register in the school district, they are required to provide three proofs of residency. After that, the district looks into residency questions as they arise.
Once a student’s residency is questioned, Whelton looks at the given information and decides if the district should investigate the student’s residency. Then, if he believes it’s necessary, an investigation company is hired to gather evidence.
“The investigations do take a long time,” Whelton said.
He said the district wants to have solid evidence before sending parents a letter saying their child is not a resident.
Once parents receive the letter, they can attend a hearing with a hearing officer, who then submits a report to the Board of Education.
“The Board has directed the administration to be diligent on this matter,” said Collins at the recent meeting. “So you will see more of these student residency motions as the year goes by.”
Whelton said the district is looking into more than seven cases of residency spread across schools and age groups. Last year, the board disenrolled a student from York High School and one from Jackson Elementary School.
The student disenrolled last week was attending Emerson, and the Board voted to charge $3,015.45 in tuition for the student’s attendance since the first day of this school year.