Parents and guardians of eighth grade students in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) are being urged to submit documentation verifying their residency in Montgomery County by June 4, 2004. The documentation is a requirement for continuing enrollment in MCPS.
Families were informed of this requirement, approved by the Board of Education to ensure that the parent/guardian of a student is a bona fide resident or is paying tuition to have their child attend MCPS, in a letter dated March 31, 2004. Because families who have not responded run the risk of their child's final middle school report card and high school schedule being withheld, a follow-up letter has been mailed to parents who have not yet provided the documentation. Ultimately, a child may be withdrawn from MCPS if documentation is not received.
Homeless students or those enrolled under kinship care provisions are exempt from the residency verification process.
Parents must mail, fax, or hand deliver the requested documents to their child's middle school by June 4, 2004. (Parents may maintain the confidentiality of their financial information by blocking out any monetary statements on the documents.)
In addition to a form that parents have received in the mail, parents are asked to provide the following:
If parents own their own home, they should submit:
* A copy of their most recent property tax bill.
If parents rent or lease a home or an apartment, they should submit:
* A copy of their lease or rental agreement, OR
* If the lease is more than one year old, a copy of the lease AND a current utility or telephone bill clearly bearing their name, their home address, and the date of billing. A cell phone bill or cable television bill also would be acceptable if utilities are included in their lease agreement.
If parents are in shared housing, they should submit:
* Either a copy of the current property tax bill of the homeowner OR a copy of the lease of the renter with whom the student and parent are living, AND
* Three current documents in their name showing that address as their residence (Examples of acceptable documents could be current telephone bills, pay stubs, credit card bills, car registration, or two consecutive bank statements.), AND a Shared Housing Disclosure Form 335-74 completed by the parents and the person with whom the parents are living and notarized by a notary.
Only parents of eighth grade students are being asked to participate this year. Future efforts may expand the verification to include fifth grade students prior to entering middle school.
Ensuring that students are legitimately enrolled in schools is an important measure to control expenditures and ensure that school system resources are used effectively for children whose parent/guardian has either bona fide residency in the county, is paying tuition, or is receiving recognized exemptions. The only equitable way to conduct such a comprehensive verification process is to ask all parents to supply standard residency documentation.