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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Local School District Wants You to Snitch

Not too sure what to make of this, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I don't have a scanner, so I am writing this out verbatim.


Dear Parent/Guardian.

We are asking for your help. In an attempt to better provide quality educational services to all students of USD 262 we would like to connect with those parents/guardians that live within our school district boundaries whose children do not attend our schools.

Our goal is to connect with these parents and provide them information about our school district as well as answer any questions they might have.

We need your help with identifying these patrons so we may contact them with a letter. Would you please use the space below to write down the names and address of your neighbors that have school aged children that do not attend USD 262 and then return this list by September 11. You can return this information with your child (only 1 per household) or use the drop box at the district office located at 132 S. Park Street.

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,

Scott Springston
Superintendent of Schools

*********************

Then there is three spaces for snitching out your neighbors with. Should we be concerned about this? In the State of Kansas you have to register with the State if you are homeschooling. They should already have a list. And if these people want to have their children attend this school district, then they would have registered their kids their. People choose what school if any they want for their family. This just doesn't seem quite right to me.

26 comments:

Kelle said...

Don't you just love those power hungry liberals? I would send a copy of this to HSLDA and see what they think. It is definately a smelly letter! Let us know what HSLDA says about this, okay.

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

Well that does seem a little odd. But I also know, at least here, that schools can provide services to kids who are home schooled...like medical screenings. They may just want to make sure those parents know that their children are entitled to some type of free services, even if they do not attend the school. They may also be trying to identify children who are lacking education by not being sent to school yet also aren't being homeschooled either.

HermitJim said...

I'm with you, Phelan! It sounds a little fishy to me as well...

The really scary part is that there may be a lot of folks that will fill it out and send it to them!

Keep us posted as to what you find out, OK?

YeOldFurt said...

Just the tip of the iceberg! "And it's for your own good!" "To help the children". Also let's them know who will snitch on who. Once a quisling, always a quisling.
YeOldFurt

Annette said...

I'm with you - this looks odd. I would have to reply to the school board and make note that they already have this information and to stop wasting paper,postage and my time.

Wendy said...

Yeah, it would bother me, too. We're registered homeschoolers, and we send a letter to the State and to the local superintendent, but I would hate to think that my neighbors were being encouraged to "report" on me. The letter seems so innocuous, but how much longer before it's not? How much longer before other institutions are asking the citzenry to report on neighbors under the guise of "helping." Very creepy!

Janelle said...

From talking to our school I think that they want to "enroll" the kids so that they can meet the census deadline of Sept 15th which will give them funding for that kid even though they will not be going to the school. If for some reason a parent decides to enroll their kid after that date the school will not get any funding, so it is preemptive in a way.

Phelan said...

Jennifer, it could be innocent. However all those "free" things are available at the health clinic and a clinic van comes around 1 a month to do all the testing and give shots. Speech would be the only thing I could think of. And it still should be up to the parents to contact the schools, not the other way around. Everybody with an address gets letters of generals from the school.


Janelle, so the schools want to commit fraud? If the children are never enrolled, that is what it would be. Don't like that either.

The Thinker said...

I also think it might be census related. Innocent, I doubt. At the PTO meeting last week, we had a Census representative speak. They schools have incentive to be pretty aggressive about getting their enrollments up. It can make a big difference in the amount of funding they get.

On the other hand, you are right Phelan, they already have the information on people who registered as homeschoolers. If they wanted to contact homeschoolers specifically, they can and almost certainly will.

I bet they are probably looking for children who are not enrolled at all.. trying to get those early drop-outs, those never enrolled...

and what about immigrants (especially undocumented ones)? Do you have many in your district? Their families may not enroll them in the interest of staying under the radar. But I bet the children can still enroll in school and boost the districts numbers.

Issa said...

I'm with you. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If they are really trying to reach people who might want their services, why not advertising or a regular mailing? Going the snitch route seems inherently suspect.e

Sandy@American Way Farm said...

Their motives are probably innocent enough but I'm with Annette. I'd probably tell them they should already have that information, or the state dept. of education should. Scary though.

SkippyMom said...

Every year we receive this [stupid]form to fill out for our kids who are enrolled in public school.

We have to list all our information including our jobs, income, etc. I always send them back with a note saying "We respectfully decline to fill out the form as you are already in possession of the information neccessary."

A few years back they made it a requirement to fill out the form or your child would receive a punishment in school for not doing so.

You bet I made a stink. I realize this is for funding/census - but it is a WASTE of my time, the school's time and gov't dollars when they already have all the information they need.

They don't use the "turn it in or get an F" rule anymore. :)

I have to agree Phelan - the state already knows who does/does not homeschool. That is one creepy letter.

MKotyk88 said...

That is a thoroughly messed up letter to send to families. I'm getting tired of these liberals trying to take our kids from us so that they can be 'indoctrinated' in their beliefs. I wouldn't reply to it. I'd toss it out.

ChicagoMike said...

My guess is that this has to do with the Census as well.

In my view the school has an obligation to get as much federal money as possible. That is money that their residents and businesses have already paid, so they should try and bring it back to the community. If it doesn't come back there it will go somewhere else and they could be viewed as being fiscally negligent to not make every reasonable effort to recover those funds. At least those funds are locally controlled and put that money back into the local economy.

I am not comfortable being a snitch either. I would call the school and find out what the real purpose is, and if its something that could be useful to a homeschool household tell the homeschoolers they could contact the school.

ChicagoMike said...

And as for "power hungry liberals" and "liberals taking our kids away", the conservatives seem just as bad to me.

Moonwaves said...

How about giving a copy of the letter to any parents you might know who are the ones mentioned in the letter. If they want to contact the school district to find out what it's about, they have the information. Then send the original letter back explaining how uncomfortable you feel at having being asked to 'snitch' and what you have done.

Mum in Bloom said...

Yup smells fishy but imagine all the people who just trust whatever is written to them from the school & are gonna report their neighbours without a second thought...

PS - I love your blog & am so glad I found it!

houstonmom said...

Too many things lately are reminding me of Germany in the 1940s. Snitching on your neighbor now may be for 'innocent' reasons, but we're being conditioned for less 'innocent' reasons. Next it will be, please let us know if any of your friends read the Bible at home. Or pray... GASP. This is a much bigger issue than homeschooling. So many nonhomeschoolers don't care b/c they think homeschoolers are wrong for their education choice. But once we lose the right to make the decision about education, it is another nail in the coffin. I'm very concerned about the country my children will inherit.

Phelan said...

Husband feels that it has something to do with the Stimulus money. If they can get an accurate census of how many children of school age live in the district, that they will get money for them, even if they are not enrolled in the school. With all the reports I hear on who and how the National Census will be going down, it almost feels like a backhanded way to get the info. If these people aren't willing to tell us, then their neighbors might. I don't know. . .

As for illegals. We do have our share of them. However the ones that I know of, their children board the bus everyday.

I'm not a Republican or a Dem, this letter came from a Conservative school board, and was probably filtered down from the Conservative State Government. Not to say we don't have Liberals, we are just heavy with Conservitives.

But this letter is suspect. Primarily because when we do Kindergarten roundup, a letter is sent out with school children, asking that if you know anyone whose child is of age to enter kindergarten that you give the letter to them. Why is this one so different?

I will not be filling it out. I have set it aside. I am not my brother's keeper. However, if I see abuse or neglect I will intervene. But this, this letter is not about neglect.

Trailshome said...

First, I agree that it seems strange, but I do remember getting something like that letter from our school district here in Indiana aobut 20 years ago when my kids were in school, so it's not totally new.

Just as one more take on this thing, did you hear in the news lately about the 18 year kidnap victim that was finally found and returned to her family--with her two kids! This 11 year old was abducted and held by her captor for 18 years, abused in untold ways, and gave birth to two children while living in tents in a fenced backyard. The mother and two children had been held all those years without schooling, medical help or any kind of social contact. They were reported to the police by concerned neighbors more than once but it wasn't followed up on properly.

Could possibly be an attempt to make sure that's not going on anywhere else? Just a thought.

lizzylanefarm said...

A agree, it's a federal funding thing. Our school does the same thing here. All homeschoolers are required to be registered with the state and the school even though they don't attend. The school looking for $$$$$$$$$ on kids they don't spend a single dollar on.

I also through the years refused to fill out all those silly forms with redundant information or information that isn't any of the school's business. What does a child going to public school have to do with my household income and names and ages of everyone in the house. To me nothing.

If it were me I would save that letter to start the woodstove with later in the year.

have a wonderful day.
K

mcav0y said...

I am a teacher and work with students with disabilities, although not in KS. My first impression is that the letter is poorly worded and the action is poorly implemented. I would bet that it is related to "child find." Child Find is a continuous process of public awareness activities, screening and evaluation designed to locate, identify, and refer as early as possible all young children with disabilities and their families who are in need of Early Intervention Program (Part C) or Preschool Special Education (Part B/619) services of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
As for asking for income of enrolled students; that is typically to determine if the school qualifies for Title I funding and whether a child qualifies for free and reduced lunch. If the child is from a family under the poverty level, he/she doesn't have to pay for breakfast and lunch. All school districts I know of do not require that families divulge that information. However districts DO get frustrated with families that start ranting about privacy rights and still want the benefits of free lunches and title I funding.

Phelan said...

mcav0y, I know what form you are talking about and that one is completely different than this one. We get the pre-K, early childhood development one every year before classes dismiss for the summer. That one asks that we give the form to anyone we know with children of a certain age. No, this is something entirely different from that.

Asking for income was not in this note, that is another form you get with your enrollment papers.

If I didn't already get those types of forms, this wouldn't have left a bad taste in my mouth. There is something off about it. Not saying it isn't innocent, I just didn't like the letter. It made me uncomfortable.

Faith said...

They are coming at us from all sides. Lists being made right and left, from all sorts of government agencies.

Great changes going on.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

~Faith

Pioneer Living said...

Well, we are glad we live in OK. We don't have to tell them if we are home schooling. Also kids that are home schooled are smarter then the school kids.

It is very strange to get a letter like that.

Pioneer Living said...

Oh one more thing. We did put our kid in school and the first thing they want to do is try to get us to sign up for free lunch. We kept telling them NO until they shut up about it.

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