A fairly new program has saved the Norwich school district millions of dollars by identifying and removing students who don’t live there.
NORWICH, CT (WFSB) -- A fairly new program has saved the Norwich school district millions of dollars by identifying and removing students who don’t live there.
There are 3,350 students go to school in Norwich, not including the 1,200 in high school.
In the past nine months, a new school residency officer discovered 50 students, or about 1 percent, live outside the district.
The 50 students identified cost the district $1.67 million, and that number keeps climbing.
Retired Norwich police detective Ed Peckham was hired last November by Norwich Public Schools, to identify students who don’t live in the district and report his findings.
“I can understand why some of these parents are doing what they’re doing, but unfortunately Norwich can’t absorb these costs,” Peckham said.
The $1.67 million included six elementary special education students, at $42,000 to $108,000 per student, and 12 elementary students at $21,600 per student.
There was one middle school student in special education, which costs $116,000, and 16 out-of-district students attended Norwich Free Academy.
One student lived in Willimantic and attended the Veterans Memorial Elementary School, 20 miles away.
As for Peckham, other districts are taking notice and he’s finding more and more non-residents to track down to before a residency board for a hearing, and likely removal.
In a statement, Norwich Superintendent of Schools Kristen Stringfellow said “I felt it was important that the school department budget be utilized to support the children of Norwich residents.”