That’s the crime that’s sweeping the nation:
An African-American mother of two, Ms. Williams-Bolar last year used her father’s address to enroll her two daughters in a better public school outside of their neighborhood. After spending nine days behind bars charged with grand theft, the single mother was convicted of two felony counts. Not only did this stain her spotless record, but it threatened her ability to earn the teacher’s license she had been working on.
Ms. Williams-Bolar caught a break last month when Ohio Gov. John Kasich granted her clemency, reducing her charges to misdemeanors from felonies. His decision allows her to pursue her teacher’s license, and it may provide hope to parents beyond the Buckeye State. In the last year, parents in Connecticut, Kentucky and Missouri have all been arrested—and await sentencing—for enrolling their children in better public schools outside of their districts.
School districts all over the nation are hiring special investigators to track these desperados down.
You really should real the whole thing. I can’t imagine a better illustration of the warped priorities of our education system than this story. It’s true that these people are going to schools that they haven’t paid the taxes for. But given how schools are funded (property taxes, progressive state and federal taxes) that could be said of many students. Moreover, the schools have no problem bussing minority students around when it was for their purposes — social justice and racial integration. But let some devoted mom put together a do-it-yourself bussing program and they go apeshit.
But it also illustrates just how arbitrarily and stupidly we put students in schools to begin with. Not by education level; not by pedagogical technique or need; not by parental choice; not by markets — but by geography. Imagine what your grocery store would be like if everyone in the neighborhood had to go there and no one could go to another grocery store for risk of committing a felony.
We are jailing people to preserve this broken, over-priced monopoly. It’s ridiculous.