School Choice now a felony in Broward County, Florida


The bloggers at the Fordham Foundation happened upon this bit of news from the Miami Herald the other day. It seems as though parents and children are exercising their own kind of school choice in Broward County, Florida, by faking residency in order to get into better schools.  Officials in there have a come up with a deterrent for parents who try to get their kids out of failing schools and into better ones – five years in jail.

“Until now, lying about where
parents live to get their child into a favorable school was against
district policy and Florida law, but it was only a second-degree
misdemeanor and was seldom enforced.

Under the new policy, the Broward state attorney’s
office has the the right to charge boundary-hoppers reported by the
district with low-level felonies, which are punishable by up to five
years in prison and $5,000 fines.

”There shouldn’t be school shopping,” said board Chairwoman Robin Bartleman.”

She’s not kidding. $5000 and five years in jail for lying to get your child in a better school.

If only those parents had the resources available to Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, who, despite his own private school education, appears largely unwilling to create more school choice options in his own state.

No word, by the way, on the punishment in Massachusetts for faking your way into a better school.