Places that can jail you for 'stealing' education
In the Empire State, a Rochester woman was charged in 2009 with two felonies for sending her four kids to schools in a suburb where they used to live: third-degree grand larceny (punishable by up to seven years in prison) and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing (which can get you up to four years in prison). bit.ly
The Keystone State has a law on the books spelling out that enrolling your kid in the wrong school district can cost you back tuition and court costs plus a $300 fine or 240 hours of community service, or both. However, as America Tonight special correspondent Soledad O’Brien reported, Pennsylvania prosecutors have shown a willingness to treat an offense as theft of services, which can be charged as a felony. bit.ly 1949 Act 14
In the nation’s capital, anybody (including school officials) who falsifies student residency information can be liable for retroactive tuition plus a $2,000 fine or 90 days in jail. The District of Columbia even has an anonymous Student Residency Fraud Prevention Hotline (motto: “Making sure every seat is accounted for.”) 1.usa.gov
In the Buckeye State, Kelley Williams-Bolar was convicted in 2011 on two third-degree felony charges of tampering with records and served nine days in jail. After online outcry over her conviction, Gov. John Kasich reduced the convictions to misdemeanors. Williams-Bolar was also charged with grand theft, also a felony, but the jury couldn’t reach a verdict. The judge declared a mistrial on that charge. 1.usa.gov
In the Great Lakes State, giving the wrong address for your schoolkid is a misdemeanor that land you in jail for up to 20 days and set you back anywhere from just 5 bucks to a maximum $50 fine. 1.usa.gov
In the land of Honest Abe, falsifying a student’s residency can land you in jail for a month and a fine of $1,500. bit.ly
If you show the Show-Me State school officials falsified student residency information, Missouri’s legal system could show you to prison for a year for a class A misdemeanor. on.mo.gov
The Sooner State treats falsifying student residency information as a misdemeanor that can land you in the county jail for up to a year and/or a $500 fine. bit.ly
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America Tonight is the flagship show of Al Jazeera America. Tune in weekdays at 9 p.m. ET/6 PT. america.aljazeera.com
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Learn more about places where school district boundary-hopping can lead to time in jail. america.aljazeera.com A state-by-state look at the laws that criminalize the theft of education and some of the parents they have punished

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