City schools investigating tuition fraud
by Mark Andrews
Sep 08, 2012 | 1276 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cartersville City Schools are cracking down on parents of out-of-district students who do not pay tuition for their children to a school within the city.

“We’ve had reason to believe that we have a number of students — how many, we don’t know — that have attended school without paying tuition and have used false addresses, and we have moved forward to go to court with one,” Superintendent Howard Hinesley said during Thursday’s work session. “For three years, [the family] sent four children to our school system.”

Hinesley explained when students seek to attend Cartersville schools, the family must sign an affidavit acknowledging there are penalties for attesting to living in the city if they actually live out of district.

“We have caught [the family] red-handed, they admitted they’ve been doing it for three years ... and now we turn it over for the appropriate legal action,” Hinesley said.

According to CCBOE, current tuition-paying students qualified for a tuition rate of $200 per family if the fee was paid by June 30. After the June deadline, the rate rose to $300 per student. The rate also is $300 per student for any new out-of-district student admitted to the system. Parents must sign a contract for each out-of-district student annually agreeing to the criteria for enrollment and continued enrollment as an out-of-district student. The criterion include the following: (1) consistent and punctual attendance with no excessive absenteeism, tardiness to school or checkouts during the school day; (2) satisfactory discipline record; (3) maintaining a “C” average or higher in each and all classes; (4) satisfactory academic performance on assessments, report cards, and/or other academic measurements; and (5) parent and student cooperation with school officials.

“We’re hoping [taking the family to court] will send a message,” Hinesley said. “We’re still currently investigating others, but [this family] admitted it.”

Hinesley said three staff members were involved in surveillance of the home the family’s residence.