Saturday, July 25, 2015

School choice is so desirable that some parents are risking jail for it

Yesterday's blog argued in favour of public policy that allows parents to choose their children's elementary and high schools, and so today I thought you might be interested in this story from Washington, DC. That city has the most school choice of any jurisdiction in the US, and it so happens that the surrounding areas (Maryland and Virginia) have very little school choice available to parents. As a result, some Maryland and Virginia parents are apparently enrolling their children illegally in a DC school of choice. So far, so normal - parents want school choice, we already know

But the story doesn't end there. The DC school board has a hotline for people to phone or email in tips about parents who are lying about their place of residence in order to enroll their children in a DC school - and last year 88 tips were received. So to me that's the first exclamation mark - why in the world would anyone squeal on another parent in this way?

The second exclamation mark is that the penalty for illegal enrollment in a DC school is up to 90 days in jail and repayment of tuition of up to $15,000 a year. At present, two police officers are being sued for more than $224,000.  (more...)

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