Parents: Address Verification Scandal Hits Chicago
A new kerfluffle in Chicago reminds us that it's not just poor black folks who "steal" education from schools outside their true home attendance zone.
In brief, there are a bunch of Lincoln Elementary parents who might have to transfer their kids out of the school for next year. Yes, it's in leafy Lincoln Park, Chicago, the neighborhood where schools chief Jean Claude Brizard lives (and where I went to middle and high school, FWIW).
Anyway, apparently Lincoln has gotten really overcrowded -- 800 kids up from 630 five years ago. In the past, there hasn't been any community-wide letter about this. The process has been conducted informally via individual conversations with parents whose addresses have come up as out of area or whose kids have said, "0h, we don't live there anymore." This year for the first time included a notice to the entire community about address verification in the Principal's newsletter. You can't send your kid to the school if you don't live in the area, unless it's 7th or 8th grade. Owning a condo that you rent out or use as an office doesn't qualify. No, we can't work something out. (I'm paraphraising, obviously. The school talked to me but no one will send the letter.)
The predictable response -- first sent to me from the members' only NPN forum -- has been a flurry of concern from parents who use their Lincoln Park condos as rentals or offices (or just outright faked an address) as well as thanks from Lincoln Park parents who actually reside in the area and feel others are sending their kids to Lincoln unfairly.