For homeless families the prospect of school registration is daunting as many states require all students have a valid home address. However, the controversial Connecticut case of Tanya McDowell, who was accused of stealing her son’s education, may change this mandate.
State Rep. Bruce Morris, D – Norwalk, has proposed a measure that would allow cases such as McDowell’s to be viewed as a civil matter and not prosecuted as a felony. Tanya McDowell was charged with larceny in April for trying to register her son for classes in September 2010.
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Some critics such as House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, argue the plan would encourage others to scam the education system, but will not oppose lesser penalties. The measure does have bipartisan support and many are discussing whether any legislation would apply specifically to McDowell.
Regardless, Connecticut lawmakers are in a race against time as the current legislative session ends June 8th.