Lee’s Summit School District cracks down on residency requirements

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LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. - Some people are scamming the residency requirements in the Lee's Summit School District and the district is tired of it. So they hired someone whose only job is to be sure that students actually live in the district. Many taxpayers there say they welcome the district's effort.

Tori Hodge and Eli Schaefer say they understand why their parents wanted to move to Lee's Summit, all for the schools.

"My parents moved here in the '90's because the schools were good," Schaefer said.

An issue being addressed right now by the Lee's Summit School District, to crack down on students not living within the district, is a sensitive one.

"I guess I'm kind of conflicted about it because I want the taxes paid to be able to help the students, but I feel if a kid from Raytown is going to school in Lee's Summit, I want them to have a good education, too," said Hodge.

The district warns those not following the rules are costing the district money.  According to a district spokesman, it costs on average $10,000 to educate one student at Lee's Summit schools for one year or between $50 and $63 a day.

Since 2004, the Lee's Summit School District has required families to show proof of residency, but in the 2012-2013 school year, the number of students who claimed to live with another family or friends inside the district increased dramatically to nearly 900 students.

That caused concern among administrators.

"It's not troubling if all the families are indeed living here in the district," said Dr. Matt Miller.

That hasn't been the case, however, this school year.

"At this point, we've had somewhere between 20 and 40 cases of non-compliance this school year."

The good news for Dr. Miller is that people want to go to the district, but the bad news is some are willing to enroll their kids at any cost.  The decision to not comply with district residency rules could be costly.  Once discovered, the district gives families 10 days to un-enroll their student, then they will also be billed for the days the student was in school.

Finally, if necessary, legal action will be taken.



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