The school districts have been taking the budget cuts and financial hardships harder than almost any other industry. In an attempt to cut costs, some school districts have opted to hire private investigators to find students that are attending school in one district while living in another. By locating and un-enrolling students living in other districts, the investigating district should be able to cut at least one teacher, a move that seems heartless, but is necessary in order to provide students and staff with the required supplies and facilities during these economically difficult times.
The attempt to find out of district students involves a three part plan. All incoming kindergarteners are investigated to verify that they actually live in that school district with the hopes of stopping future outsiders from enrolling. Next, all older students already attending school within the district are investigated to determine which district they reside in. Phase three is to notify parents that their child is no longer enrolled in that district, and advising them as to which district they should actually be attending school in.
The logic behind the decision to hire private investigators is sound: school districts can’t afford to educate more students than they are receiving taxes from. It isn’t fair to the students and families paying taxes in their proper district if other districts are receiving funds but don’t have to educate their full load of students.
There is no reason to believe that parents are purposely sending their students to the wrong schools. It is likely that they simply thought that the closest school was the correct school, though unfortunately this isn’t always the case. It isn’t uncommon for staff to also be mistaken about which school a child should be attending because district boundaries can be confusing.
Private investigators use a variety of methods to find out which district students are actually living in, including residency checks through various databases, knocking on doors, and conducting surveillance when necessary. Some parents were confused about why a private investigator showed up on their doorsteps, but all were accepting of the district’s effort to enforce boundary rules to more accurately spend tax dollars.