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Proviso Probe

Thursday, November 10, 2005

ED, hassling students on residency [D209]

Forest Park Review (West Suburban Journal's Frank Life) covered the meeting of Latinos Unidos con Voz.
One major concern is that parents are being asked to provide five proofs of residency if they do not own a home in order for their kids to attend D209. This would sometimes delay a student 90 days before being able to attend school, according to some teachers and parents, who wished to remain anonymous. Students especially at risk are those living in multi-family households.

The residency enforcement proposal unveiled by Dr. Kelvin Gilchrist is a problem for more than just Latinos.

I spoke to Dr. Randy Tinder of District 91 and he confirmed my suspicion that D209's proposal would cost more money than it saves.

If 1,000 students show up on the first day, then D209 has to have classes for all 1,000 students. If the district discourages 50 from attending because of residency issues, this doesn't eliminate the need for one or two teachers, it merely reduces the average class sizes by about one student.

But keeping the students from attending does cost D209 because the amount of money from the state is determined by the attendence during the three highest attendence months. Discouraging some students because of residency will cause D209 to report less students and lose the per capita compensation from the state.

Gilchrist admitted to me on the phone that the proposal is primarily to keep "problematic" students out of District 209. But like other D209 proposals and policies it's not based on researching the problem.

If District 209 is so hot about seeing Proviso East students taking public transit to the West Side, they should probably start with shoe-leather research. Stand on the "L" platform and ask students their stories. Do they live in families with joint custody?

BTW, families can avoid any obstacles and harassment on residency by declaring themselves to be homeless. I couldn't prove I lived in District 209 by the five proofs of residency requirement. If District 209 sent my child home, I'd tell him/her to just say we were homeless.

2 Comments:

  • Gilchrist later told me he has no knowledge of students being asked for five proofs of residency and students are usually asked for one proof, whether it be a utility bill or lease contract. Some parents, two teachers and one secretary maintain Hispanic students were asked for five proofs.

    By Anonymous Frank Life, at 11:57 PM, November 10, 2005  

  • My family experienced a problem with documention requested at Proviso West. 5 years ago my cousin who has lived in Bellwood several years went to register at Proviso West. He was not allowed to register because he did not provide a social security card. He had to go live with his sister in Aurora for a year to start school there.

    Someone posted this under "anonymous". I deleted it.

    Please use a pseudonym even if you don't want to create a Blogger account.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 11:09 AM, November 14, 2005  

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