Council supports Feola’s crackdown on out-of-district students

Council supports Feola’s crackdown on out-of-district students

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Town Council members last week offered initial support for Councilor Stephen Feola’s plan to crack down on people who allow out-of-town students to use their addresses as proof of residency.

“We have more and more people trying to come to utilize our school system,” said Feola.

Councilor Ken Amoriggi was one of those who agreed with Feola that more people are trying to attend North Providence schools because of the success they’ve achieved, including the highest high school graduation rate in the state.

Feola is proposing taking away a homeowner’s homestead tax exemption of 20 percent if a homeowner allows someone to use their address to go to school and that person doesn’t actually sleep in the home they are claiming as their own.

The council voted unanimously to send the proposal to the board’s ordinance subcommittee for review.

The town’s homestead exemption gives taxpayers a 20-percent discount on their taxes if they live in a home as their primary residence.

According to school officials, there were 130 inquiries made during the 2015-2016 school year about residency. Of those, 40 were justified. For the 2016-2017 school year, there have been 150 to 160 inquiries, and nearly 30 of those were valid, with 20 more pending.

“I’ve heard a lot of the same stories, and I wouldn’t actually be surprised if the numbers are higher than that. I think that’s probably just what’s documented,” said Amoriggi last week.

There was one instance in which the town was paying a charter school tuition for a student who didn’t live in the town, said Feola.

Amoriggi asked about landlords of multi-family homes who allow out-of-district students to use apartment addresses, people who wouldn’t be penalized under Feola’s initial proposal and aren’t afraid to lose anything. Feola said officials could consider making such an action punishable as a misdemeanor crime.

Having penalties in place would at least make people think twice about allowing a student to use their address, said Feola.

Comments

Nice shinny new schools coming on line too. I see we have an average of 10.2 kids to i teacher now, with the lack of growth in this town we will be able to shut down some schools in a few years.
Yes, policies are good but who is going to enforce them? The Town Councilors going to be taking names and running searches, the schools going to hire a detective, are we going to get a signed affidavit certifying a child is qualified? Hello ACLU, I can hear the law suites coming. In other words the School Committee has to do it's job and certify residency, no new penalties, no new expenses, no new extremes in this town of stop signs, just have the School Committee do their job or hold back tax dollars.
The town is overreaching again, not necessary.

I dare doth say, let out of district students attend, and charge their district that they are not attending, for the cost of education that student, plus.... that should be incentive for poor-performing districts to get it together.