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School Board Special Meeting Set for Monday to Discuss Mandatory Residency Affidavits

If passed, affidavits would be required as soon as Nov. 9 for all Grosse Pointe Public School students

The Grosse Pointe school board will hold a special meeting Monday at 8:00 p.m. to discuss passage of a proposed mandatory residency affidavit.

The meeting was called by board members Cindy Pangborn and Tom Jakubiec and will follow a closed board discussion.  It will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Brownell Middle School Multi-Purpose Room.

Pangborn, who is up for re-election Nov. 6, and Jakubiec have proposed a resolution that reinforces mandatory tuition reimbursement for families violating residency.

The resolution requires that all families in the district return a certified affidavit as proof of residency each school year, starting this year as of Nov. 9 or face removal from school. The affidavits, if the board approves the resolution Monday, would be due Dec. 4.

Pete Spencer October 12, 2012 at 08:58 PM
A "notarized" affidavit for all families every year. Are you kidding me?!
Elena Kerasiotis October 12, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Why not. Attending the GP schools is a condition of residency and should be protected. I own a rental and must sign and document residential occupancy. Why shouldn't everyone else? What would be used to verify residency?
Allison Baker October 12, 2012 at 11:14 PM
I agree with Pete, this is ridiculous!!! I pay taxes in GP, vote, and volunteer in the schools, if they don't believe my child has a right to attend the schools here they can come over to my house to check my residency themselves!! We proved our residency when I enrolled my kids, proved it again a few years back with the re-enrollment, and I will not do it every year with a notarized affidavit so that a handful of bigots can try to keep legal residents out of our district! My children have the legal right to attend school in the GPPSS, just try to keep them out! The cost to the district to make this yearly affidavit system work is not worth it, not to mention the cost of potential litigation. This witch hunt has got to end!!
Band & Orchestra Parent October 13, 2012 at 01:46 PM
AMEN! Yes, this has just got to stop, I've been in this district way too long for this kind of bs.
Bob Frapples October 13, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Not every one with a kid in the school system pays taxes, votes or volunteers in Grosse Pointe and I believe this is simply a way of making sure that thos tax dollars you spend help your neighbors and not some leaches that are not contributing to our city. If you're legal then what's the big deal? It's not like they are asking for a monthly report, it's once a year...or is it the principal of being required that has you upset? Play by the rules and you won't get in trouble.
Diane Smith October 13, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Give me the paper, I will sign.
Allison Baker October 13, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Bob, it is the principle that is at issue. This emergency resolution is not the right answer, last year they had to remove less than 1% of the students for residency violations. Here is the school district enrollment eligibility investigation report: http://gpschools.schoolwires.net/page/1042 I believe this affidavit solution is not a good use of district funds, and keeping even one legal resident out of school for not signing and notarizing a piece of paper is just ridiculous!
Bob Frapples October 13, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Only removing 1% doesn't mean that there wasn't another 10% (or more) than went un-noticed. There may be WAY more that slipped by...or maybe not, that's what this effort will determine. I want the taxes I pay to help the community and it's residents, not scofflaws that cheat the system and leach off of my resources.
Allison Baker October 13, 2012 at 09:49 PM
@ Bob, if 10% (or more) of our students were sneaking in we would be having a lot different conversation. That would mean we would have over 800 kids here illegally! If you remove that number we would need to start closing schools!
The Village Malcontent October 13, 2012 at 10:01 PM
And what happens to the "principle" that those who are non residents should not attend schools their tax dollars do not support? Why are those who stand for this "principle" called bigots?
Kathy Abke October 14, 2012 at 12:43 AM
You've already signed one affidavit, Diane Smith, when you registered your kids for school. I'm tired of this nonsense. I'm tired of a small group of alarmists using anecdotal evidence to incite fear that the sky is falling. If anecdotal evidence were valid, they'd have proof of the Loch Ness Monster and Yetis already. The facts don't support this radical requirement. Reregistration of everyone led to .06% of cheaters. Enough is enough. Furthermore, the board has been advised this proposal doesn't have a legal leg to stand on. They'd get sued six ways till Sunday. They CANNOT bar children from attending if parents don't jump this hoop. The two board members who called this special meeting have been advised of this as well. They declined a chance to put it on last month's agenda - nor did they put it on next month's agenda. This is a political move, and one I think will backfire. We'll see on election day. In the meantime, there are a whole lot more of us who are against this proposal. Enough is enough.
walden schmidt October 14, 2012 at 12:48 AM
If this catches even 1 thief (yes, it is stealing tax money), it is well worth it. As for not following the policy because you think you're special. Good luck. Your child will be the one that suffers when they are removed from school. You can sue, but will looe and not only have to pay for your attorney, but for the school district's also. Just ask the family in the Park that thought they were special and didn't have to follow the policy. Honestly, how much of your 'it's all about me" life will have to be placed aside to submit a notarized document once a year? If you care about your children and have nothing to hide, this should not be an issue.
walden schmidt October 14, 2012 at 12:48 AM
If this catches even 1 thief (yes, it is stealing tax money), it is well worth it. As for not following the policy because you think you're special. Good luck. Your child will be the one that suffers when they are removed from school. You can sue, but will lose and not only have to pay for your attorney, but for the school district's also. Just ask the family in the Park that thought they were special and didn't have to follow the policy. Honestly, how much of your 'it's all about me" life will have to be placed aside to submit a notarized document once a year? If you care about your children and have nothing to hide, this should not be an issue.
Band & Orchestra Parent October 14, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Just sent my letter to the School Board via gpschools.org......Ms. Pangborn, any chance of re-election success, I believe, just went down the drain. Not that I was voting for you anyway......you need to go. Mr. Jakubiec, when your time comes, I will be sure to be a part of the count that lets you go next. Shame on the both of you.
Mark October 14, 2012 at 01:30 PM
So how many people cheating the system do you want allow in before taking more measures is necessary? Apparently you're okay with a certain amount of people stealing your tax dollars. It's a piece of paper; quit whining and sign it.
Allison Baker October 14, 2012 at 02:21 PM
@ Mark and Walden, there is a system in place and it is working. Check out School Board President Judy Gafa's blog at: http://judygafa.com/the-residency-issue/ you might learn something...
Mark October 14, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Ms. Baker thank you for the information; I stand corrected. It appears that they are taking necessary steps to satisfy my concerns. I still take umbrage with your calling people who are passionate about this issue bigots. I can admit I was wrong can you?
Allison Baker October 14, 2012 at 07:52 PM
@ Mark, Bigot was perhaps a strong word, but I do believe this hysteria has serious racial undertones. See, I can admit my mistakes too!
MRSPirateLarz October 15, 2012 at 03:17 PM
If this goes through, and people do not sign the affidavit then their child(ren) get banned from the school. Well, according to the state of Michigan, without the affidavit the residency requirements have already been met so the GPPSS would STILL be REQUIRED to provide public education to these BANNED children resulting in..... (drum roll please) the district STILL paying for theses banned children's educations! SO THIS AFFIDAVIT BS IS COMPLETELY A WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY!!!! If people are really so concerned about an issue that is NOT REALLY THERE, then perhaps coming up with a solution that would WORK might be your best course of action.
MRSPirateLarz October 15, 2012 at 03:26 PM
And before you jump on me about this issue not being an issue let me state, THE FACTS HAVE PROVEN that only 47 children who should not be in our district were found OVER A 7 YEAR period. That is a small percentage. That means our residency verification process that is already in place is DOING the JOB! And... I am a product of the GPPSS K-12. I am now a proud parent of a child in the schools (K-5 currently). I have seen little evidence of this supposedly rampant issue. I lived in the southern part of the district when I attended and now I have a child at Mason (one of the schools that supposedly has such a high number of outlaws). Prior to attending Mason, my child attended a different elementary school in the district. I was accused of sending my child to that school as a non-resident. I was a resident and had every right to have my child be at that school. But people ASSUMED based upon MY STATUS in life that I could not possible have a child LEGALLY in the GPPSS. Give it up people. Times are changing, house prices are changing and people are coming into our district, RIGHTFULLY, and sending their children, LEGALLY, to the schools. If you don't like it, then YOU GET OUT. Has it crossed your minds that perhaps the real problem is YOU?
Diane Smith October 15, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Pirate: It is 338 illegal students CAUGHT in 7 years per the GPPSS web site! http://gpschools.schoolwires.net/page/1042
MRSPirateLarz October 15, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Ah, thank you for the correction Diane. However, in relation to the student population of the district that number is still pretty damn small. And for clarity, I'm not saying that people who think that we should actively work on having only verified residents' children in our district are wrong... just those that are so relentless on this issue to the point of enacting pointless and costly measures that will not increase the effectiveness of a policy that is already in place and working.
Elizabeth M. Vogel October 15, 2012 at 05:18 PM
I took a look at the residency investigations on the school website, and I would like to make a few observations: 1) In 2009-2010, 351 students were investigated. Last year 183. 2) the number of 'caught' students has also dropped each year for the last 3 years from 60 to 48 to 42. If there has been a 48% drop in investigations, resulting in a 38% drop in non-residents sneaking in..... then doesn't that mean that the current policies in place are, in fact, working? And while I disagree with this proposal, my biggest concern is its poor timing. This is disruptive to families and to the learning process during the middle of the school year. I would recommend to the school board that they review residency policy once a year in the spring, and any proposed changes be adopted for the following school year.
Diane Smith October 15, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Come to the meeting tonight and voice your opinion.
Chris K October 15, 2012 at 09:30 PM
While I am still a little unclear about this affidavit issue, from what I have pieced together from news reports is that is requires a person to acknowledge that if they are caught as a non resident they acknowledge they will pay the tuition rate that was passed. If the person is never investigated, it has no bearing. But in the case where a residency violation occurs it will make it easier for the school district to seek restitution without lengthy court proceedings. That sounds cost effective to me and I don't think it changes anything the district does with regard to residency investigations and verification.
Mark October 15, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Ms. Vogel I'm not following your logic. You could extrapolate from the same numbers that due to a decrease in investigations we are catching less perpetrators.

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