Proposed bill would crack down on enrolling out-of-district students in DeSoto Co. Schools
DESOTO CO., Miss. (WMC) - In a newly proposed bill, Mississippi Senator Michael McClendon is looking to make it illegal for parents to send their children to out-of-district schools.
With an enrollment of more than 30,000 students, more families are actively choosing to send their children to DeSoto County Schools, making it the largest school district in the state.
However, in a recently drafted bill, Senator Michael McLendon seeks to control the crowd of the fastest-growing school district and prevent parents from “boundary hopping.”
“You have to be a resident of DeSoto County to go to those schools,” said McLendon.
He says if parents register their children under a false address, the proposed bill would have violators face a misdemeanor of a $500 fine, a maximum of six months in prison, and expulsion from the school.
“We have fantastic schools, so why are we going to burden our system? That’s what we’re trying to give some relief to our teachers as well as doing what’s right for taxpayers,” said McLendon.
The DeSoto County superintendent and school board members say they trust that local legislators will make decisions that are in the best interest of DeSoto County students, school employees, and residents.
In a statement, DeSoto County Schools said in part:
“It is important that taxpayer dollars are spent on DeSoto County residents and that teacher/pupil ratios are not adversely affected by out-of-district residents.”
Although McLendon aims to alleviate an unfair burden on DeSoto County teachers and taxpayers with this legislation, some parents oppose it.
“I think paying maybe a private school fee is appropriate if they come from a different school, fill out an application to come to the school,” said Michelle Sandiford, a DeSoto county parent.
In order to pass the bill, Michael McClendon says it must first go through two committees.
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