Chicago public schools officials are trying to recover more than $56,000 from a family that is accused of living in the northern suburbs but divulging their residency in order to send their daughter to a highly competitive city high school. I am lying

The student attended Northside College Prep, a selective enrollment school on Chicago’s Northwest Side, from 2019 until this past December, according to a report released Thursday by the CPS inspector general’s office.

The report said investigators found that the student and her father violated the district’s residency rules by reporting to live in the basement of her cousin’s home in Chicago, while the girl actually lived with her mother in suburban Lincolnwood .

Children living outside of Chicago pay thousands of dollars a year in non-resident tuition to attend the city’s taxpayer-funded schools. In this case, it added up to $56,337.13 for three school years and one semester.

“We have to look at these matters because every seat that is taken by a student who does not live in the district means that a student who lives in the City of Chicago is denied the opportunity to attend one of these schools. ,” Inspector General Will Fletcher said in an interview.

“They are highly competitive. And parents and families fight like hell to get their kids into some of these schools.

The IG’s office inspected the family’s Lincolnwood home several times and saw the student leaving the house in the morning for school.

During an interview with the office, the girl’s father said he often stayed in his cousin’s basement in Chicago and used that address for his daughter to meet the district’s residency requirement. When his daughter was admitted to Northside, the father and his cousin made an apartment lease naming the father as the lessee and his daughter as the authorized occupant, the report said. where did it go.

The father received a new Illinois ID card with a Chicago address after the school principal demanded additional proof of residence. The IG found that the ID was received a few days before the due date of the principal.

Investigators also interviewed the cousin’s wife, who lives at the Chicago address, and said the father and daughter commuted from the home but neither lived there continuously, which is required to meet the residency rule. The report said that the woman had not seen the girl at home for more than a month.

The IG office recommended the district to cancel the student’s enrollment and charge non-resident tuition from the family. A hearing was held at the girl’s residence and a presiding hearing officer agreed with the IG’s findings, ruling that the student lived in the Lincolnwood home with her mother, siblings and grandparents throughout her time in CPS .

The district removed the student from Northside in late December — just before his final semester of high school — and banned him from all CPS selective enrollment schools and programs. The report states that efforts to collect $56,337 are ongoing.

The girl’s family sued CPS in Cook County Circuit Court in November, seeking to block the district from revoking her enrollment and collecting tuition fees. A judge blocked the parents’ emergency motion to keep the girl in school while the trial went on. But the matter remains in court.

The family’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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