Connecticut decriminalizes ‘stealing’ education

“Stealing an education” by enrolling an out-of-district child in school isn’t a felony in Connecticut any more.

“Everyone agrees that enrolling a child in a school outside the district is wrong, but that doesn’t mean it should be considered a felony, meriting criminal prosecution,” said State Rep. Bruce Morris, D-Norwalk, said, who sponsored the bipartisan bill.

“Under this legislation, people who enroll children illegally in another district won’t be charged as criminals, tying up the criminal court system. Instead, the issue will be dealt with by the individual school districts, which are best equipped for deciding how an out-of-town enrollment should be handled,” Morris said. “Residency issues will be treated as civil matters.”

Two years ago, a homeless single mother who lives in a van was charged with “stealing” $16,000 of education for enrolling her kindergartener in a Norwalk school. Tanya McDowell, 33, plead guilty to felony charges of first-degree larceny — and to selling drugs. She was sentenced to five years in prison. Her son’s grandmother is raising him.

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  1. Obi-Wandreas says:

    I would think that sort of thing would be covered under standard fraud – knowingly attesting to a false statement on an official document.