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Story Archives: Justice probing student residency
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|Justice probing student residency|
Work to confirm the residency of some Concordia Parish students is continuing in an effort directed by the U.S. Justice Department as part of a long-established federal desegregation order.
Supt. Loretta Blankenstein said a Justice Department representative visited parish schools last year and "had no problem with the buildings, academic offerings, or extra-curricular activities offered at each school."
But the Justice official "asked for a CD with all of our student information, addresses, telephone numbers, etc. Her staff used documentation we sent to geocode the students on our parish map."
Blankenstein said information revealed that "some students were out of zone, and others simply had inaccurate information. Other possible reasons for being identified include those having an out of state cell phone, students who actually live in Ridgecrest but have a Ferriday address, and those in Monterey with a Jonesville address."
She said the Justice Department sent a list of "the identified students and forwarded this to all schools."
Officials at the schools were asked to send a letter to parents requesting additional information to verify their residency or students would not be allowed to attend school.
"We have had to require additional documents other than a driver's license, voter ID card, and utility bill because those can be obtained without a person actually living at the residence listed." said Blankenstein. "Some parents quickly responded by providing what was requested or moving their students to the appropriate zone, or state."
She said those who did not respond will be contacted by Dr. Brenda Moore, parish Supervisor of Child Welfare & Attendance.
"At this time we do not have a final count on the number of students who have made changes," said Blankenstein. "We are still working to verify some of the information presented and will have to make home visits to determine validity."
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