Joshua Rhett Miller
April 26, 2011
A Connecticut mother who says she wanted to give her son a better education will be arraigned on Wednesday on charges for enrolling the 6-year-old in another town, sparking outrage and support from people nationwide.
Tanya McDowell, a 33-year-old homeless woman whose last known address was in Bridgeport, Conn, is scheduled to be arraigned on charges of larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny for allegedly stealing $15,686 from Norwalk schools. Prosecutors allege that figure is the value of her son’s education at Norwalk’s Brookside Elementary School between the time he was illegally enrolled in January and McDowell’s arrest on April 14. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison.
But Gwen Samuel, founder of the Connecticut Parents Union, an educational lobbying group, plans to hold a rally and press conference in support of McDowell in front of the state Superior Court in Norwalk at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Samuel said she wants the charges filed against McDowell to be dropped.