DeSoto Co. Board official explains new ordinance criminalizing out-of-county student enrollment

Published: Jun. 20, 2023 at 7:24 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2023 at 2:34 PM CDT
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DESOTO CO., Miss. (WMC) - The DeSoto County Board of Supervisors is cracking down on non-residents who register their children in school with fake documents.

The goal of the new ordinance passed Monday is to keep non-residents from enrolling in DeSoto County Schools.

Out-of-county residents who are caught having enrolled their children in the school district will soon face a misdemeanor charge.

The Board of Supervisors says the school board came to them asking to pass the ordinance.

Former Board President and 5th District Supervisor Michael Lee says DeSoto County Schools has seen an increase in out-of-state falsification of affidavits to allow their children to come to DeSoto County Schools.

But the issue isn’t just Shelby County residents. Lee says students are also coming from as far as Tunica and Marshall counties.

Lee says it’s unfair to Desoto County taxpayers to have their tax dollars fund children who don’t live within their communities.

“It costs hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions of dollars when you add the kids who are coming to these schools who do not live here,” Lee said.

He also says this will also have an impact on the number of children in the classroom next fall.

“It will decrease the population as far as these out-of-state kids, and it will save the taxpayers money,” Lee said.

If you want your child to attend a DeSoto County school, you must become a legal county resident.

If you are caught falsifying documents, you could be fined up to $500 and potentially face up to six months in jail.

But the ordinance doesn’t just apply to the person who falsely registered the child, but also to the DeSoto County resident who allowed them to falsely use their address.

The ordinance goes into effect July 17.

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