PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- School officials are taking steps to more actively find out if students from other districts are attending Port Chester schools, even though they may not be residents of the village.
It has long been an concern for the Board of Education, the administration and residents that residents of other school districts may be enrolling in Port Chester schools without paying tuition or school taxes. At a recent Board of Education meeting, one resident said that he routinely counts eight to 10 cars with Connecticut license plates picking up kids after school at Thomas A. Edison School.
In October, the district will be adding a link on the district's homepage where residents can report cases where a non-resident may be attending a Port Chester school. The district has also hired Alberto Acevedo, a former police officer and a security consultant, as the district's attendance officer. Acevedo will be in charge of investigating cases where a student's residency is questioned.
"He'll be investigating those immediately," said Superintendent Edward Kliszus. In addition, Acevedo will be working with the board's attorneys to file complaints against people who owe back tuition to the district. Kliszus said that bringing people to court who owe tuition would bring revenue into the district and could help hire additional staff.
"You generally aren't able to collect the whole tuition. Most people can't afford it, you generally have to do a negotiation," Kliszuz said. "But it is a strong disincentive to come here, if you don't live here, to find out that you'll be in court and owing back tuition."
Acevedo will also be checking the residency of about ten percent of the student population each year, to make sure that all students who attend actually live where school files say they do.
Board member Tom Corbia said that he often has residents come up to him and tell him about cases where a non-resident student may be attending school in Port Chester.
"I think, without question, this is going to grow," he said. "It's going to grow tremendously. It's going to help the district and it's going to help us manage this problem very, very well."