Reporting Fran Schneidau
NORWALK, CT (WCBS 880/AP) – Tuesday evening, Rev. Al Sharpton will be coming to Norwalk to rally support for a homeless woman who is facing criminal charges because she sent her child to a school in a district where she did not reside.
Tanya McDowell has pleaded not guilty to a larceny charge. She’s accused of stealing public educational services by claiming her son lived at the baby sitter’s address.
Norwalk officials say he should have been enrolled in Bridgeport schools, McDowell’s most recent address.
In Norwalk, school officials found two dozen children illegally enrolled in various districts, but singled out only one parent for criminal charges, says Ohio-based attorney David Singleton.
Singleton has a client also facing charges for sending her child to a school in a district where she did not reside.
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He says this entire concept needs to be thrown out.
“The quality of your education should not depend on your zip code,” said Singleton.
He says in the case of his client, criminal prosecution is potentially destroying her career as a teacher.
The rally in Norwalk is being held outside Brookside Elementary School, but Sharpton says he is not responding specifically to the case of Tanya McDowell because he has not looked into it extensively.
Sharpton will be the keynote speaker at the rally urging young people to pursue their education and municipalities to have open access to students for quality education.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is holding the rally.
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