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Proviso Probe

Monday, January 30, 2006

ED, R-B hassles students on residency [D208]

See Suburban Life (Megan Brody).

This problem is far more complicated than Assistant Principal John Passarella makes it sound.

When R-B booted those two students, it didn't allow the district to reduce the number of classes (teachers). It may have created incremental savings of a few dollars here and there.

But running the students out reduced the compensation from the State of Illinois by thousands of dollars.

A good school district with crappy schools next door has to play defense on border jumpers. If a school gets a reputation for being easy to con then it will invite many students thereby incrasing taxes.

But for low numbers of border jumpers--and two definitely qualifies as a low number--the district is clearly losing money by investing in investigations.

Without making a value judgment on the policy decision, I will criticize the school officials for presenting a one-sided explanation of the problem to Megan Brody. If Passarella and other R-B officials were honest they'd admit that they are costing the district more than they are saving the district. However, there is a risk of not spending the money in that the district could conceivably be deluged with out-of-distict students if R-B acquired a reputation for being easy to scam.


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