“EDUCATIONAL IOUs” (The District Line, 5/12), left me dumbfounded. You mean to say that there are parents living outside the District who not only send their kids to D.C. schools, but (in some cases at least) pay to do it? They should be locked up for child abuse, and whoever sets those tuition rates should be arrested for highway robbery.
The real scandal isn’t the seven or so nonresident employees whose children attend city schools and who aren’t paying the required tuition. The real scandal is the number of employees (including the superintendent) who don’t send their kids to D.C. schools. I live across the street from Brent Elementary, and based on the license plates of the cars parked in their small lot, it appears that as many as 50 percent of the District’s school employees live outside the city. I have no objection to that, but I think that if they were compelled to send their children to D.C. schools, it would have a noticeable effect on improving this dreadful system. I doubt that there is any legal way to do this, but just publicizing the number of school system employees who send their children elsewhere might be helpful.
Of course, to do that you would need some kind of register of the school system’s employees, which obviously doesn’t exist. This is the only school system I’ve ever heard of that doesn’t know how many students or employees it has, and whose teachers’ union doesn’t know how many members it has.