November 06, 2008,
D.O. asks from Lake Villa, IL on November 04, 2008
Going to an Out-of-district School
I don't like our school district borders. My daughter's grammar school is pretty far away. There's a better school much closer to our house. I'm more impressed with this other school -- better facility, better teachers, better reputation. Is there a way to get approval to go to an out-of-district school? What is the chain of command for dealing with something like this? Do I go to the principal first, then the superintendent? If you're a teacher or have dealt with this, please let me know what I should do. Thanks!!!
So What Happened?™
Thanks for the input. Since this is my first child, I had no idea about how these things work -- that's why I asked the question. I didn't put this in my original question, but I would be willing to pay tuition. I'll have to think about this. I don't know if it's worth the fight.
As for me "not being fair" and those who appear offended by my question, I only want to have the best education for my child. I really wasn't looking for criticism. When I bought my house 8 years ago, I wasn't even married let alone a mother to 4 children. At the time, school districts were not a concern. Believe me, if it were that easy to move across the street to the other district, I would do it. But unfortunately with the market the way it is and some other factors, that is not a possibility. It looks like we're here to stay.
B. answers from Chicago on November 05, 2008
Hi D.- I was a teacher in MI a few years ago. IL may be different but in y experience it isn't your school district "letting go" of your child- it's getting another district to "take him". All districts have boundries and borders- just because you choose a different school (all cases I know of involve private/parochial schools) your tax dollars still follow your son to his "home district" Unless you are willing to pay private tuition, move or give up custody to someone else- I don't think you have a choice. This is not the fault of your district, school or any other person. It is just state law.
1 mom found this helpful
M.R. answers from Chicago on November 05, 2008
Crash course in how public education works:
You either own a home or live in a dwelling that is owned by a landlord, so that means that property taxes are being paid. Part of those property taxes are used to fund the public education in the district. You (or your landlord) do not pay property taxes in the other district, thus you are not entitled to the benefit of the education that is being offered in that jurisdiction.
Since it is an elementary school, you likely would want to contact the principal first. It all depends on the administration structure of your district - there might be someone who is designated to handle issues of residency and transfer. The principal should be able to direct you to the appropriate party who handles these inquiries.
Some people are able to get their student transferred to an out-of-district school because they were 'accepted' by the other district due to the fact that the family paid tuition (usually the per pupil spending expenditure...could be anywhere from $3500 to upwards of $12,000). Even if you could afford to pay the tuition to the new school (because, since you don't live in the district you are not paying taxes to the district), the school typically does not have any legal obligation to accept your student.
Quite honestly, if you really love this other school your best bet would be to move into the district so your daughter is legally entitled to receive an education that your property taxes are funding.
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T.C. answers from Chicago on November 04, 2008
I had have gotten into a fight with a school district my son was living in. He lived with my parents and the school would not allow him to go there because they were not his legal guardians. They wanted me to give up custody of him. I finally found out and went to court and just turned over educational custody of him through the courts and then they had no choice. But other than knowing someone and giving them educational custody I do not believe there is anything you will be able to do about it.
That all being said... if you do fight with the school district be prepared for the hell they may give your child. We ended up finally home-schooling him his last 2 years of HS. They actually refused to call an ambulance for him for a head and neck injury and just kept insisting that we pay for the damage to the wall where my son fell out of the desk and went though it. When I took him to the ER he had a severe concussion, lacerated tongue, bruises on his chest from his chin and whip lash. They also put him in LD classes and had him learning much lower than his level and then expecting him to bring in book reports that are 2 pages long when the book he read was a 3rd grade if that book with pictures. I am not saying you will go through this but this was our experience. I would hate to see any other parent go through what we had to! The good thing is yours are still young and cute and who can treat a lil one badly!!
Good luck and blessings to you!
K.R. answers from Chicago on November 06, 2008
Thanks for asking the question. Even though I have a couple years I have been wondering the same thing. I hate the school district that we live in and want to send my son the the neighboring school district but didn't know how to do it. I don't think that you are wrong for wanting to send your daughter to a better school district. I just think that makes you a better parent! Good Luck!
A.P. answers from Chicago on November 05, 2008
I know one of my friends looked into doing the same thing in our area. She told me that she would have to pay $4000 per year to send her son to the better school district. If that is the case I would just go private for alot cheaper.
S.E. answers from Chicago on November 05, 2008
The only way is if you pay tuition to go to that school district. You don't pay taxes into the district you like so they would make you pay those taxes in a form of a tuition.
The cost would be about the same as it would cost to send your daughter to a private school. Have you considered that. That is what we did. Sent our son to a private Christian School instead of public school through 6th grade. You also could consider homeschooling. We did that for 7th and 8th grade.