A New Jersey news site is highlighting a growing “problem” with parents who fudge enrollment documents to send their children to schools outside of their home districts.
The Asbury Park Press recently spoke with private investigator Jimmie Mesis, who earns a living tracking down parents who commit “fraud” against school districts by using fake addresses and documents to enroll their children in better schools.
“Taxpayers want to make sure that they’re paying for kids who live in their town and they’re not subsidizing kids who live in another town,” Mesis told the site. “Fraud is fraud.”
The problem stems from imaginary geographic boundaries that trap students in specific school districts or schools that do not take into consideration academic performance or student needs. In New Jersey, schools receive about $19,000 per student through local property taxes, and state and federal funding, and school officials are employing investigators like Mesis to root out “boundary hoppers.”