Atlanta Public Schools officials have begun an investigation into possible fraudulent enrollment at Grady High School, according to a report in the AOL Patch paper that covers Virginia Highland-Druid Hills.
In an August 31 letter to parents and guardians, David White, APS Regional K-12 Executive Director for the East Region, said the district would soon begin “examining all aspects of registration documents, including affidavits.”
Suspicions first arose after school officials audited enrollment records throughout the district and determined that Grady’s numbers were higher than anticipated.
The news hardly comes as a surprise to some parents, who predicted as much following the heated battles from the most recent APS redistricting process this past spring.
School officials say they just want to “ensure that students currently attending Grady are there appropriately.”
According to the letter, examples of address fraud include utilizing another person’s address, improperly using a guardianship, or falsifying a document. The district won’t seek penalties against those who go ahead and voluntarily withdraw their child.
Those found to be providing false information can be “obligated to pay for the costs incurred by the school district; be prosecuted, held criminally liable, and imprisoned for not less than one, nor more than 10 years; or be charged a fine of not more than, $1,0000, or by imprisonment from one to five years.”
The letter further warned that, “if a fraudulent enrollment is discovered as the result of the investigation, we are prepared to pursue all available legal remedies. Please note that offending parties may be subject to criminal charges and/or costs incurred by the district.”
APS is also requesting assistance from the community with regards to this matter. The out of zone residency fraud email is [email protected] and the anonymous hotline is 404-802-3450 for parents and community members to report “suspected fraudulent enrollments.
School officials cited finances and the need to better manage space in pushing forward in the system’s first redistricting plan in 10 years.
APS officials often pointed out that some of its schools were overcrowded last year, while others were at as little as 20 percent capacity.