To classify as a resident, a student shall be required to reside with their parent, legal custodian, or legal guardian within the city limits of the City of Decatur. For purposes of this policy, a resident is defined as an individual who is legally domiciled within the city limits of the City of Decatur and who, on any given school day, is likely to be at their stated address when not at work or school and routinely sleeps overnight at the stated address.
Proof of residency is required when a student initially enrolls in a school and whenever a change of residence occurs. Residency verification also takes place when currently enrolled students enter Kindergarten, 3rd, 6th, and 9th grades.
What is residency fraud?
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) are committing residency fraud if they submit an address that is not their true residence in the affidavit and enrollment process or in other documents submitted to the District.
- Using the address of a relative, friend, or another person to represent that the parent resides at that address
- Falsifying or creating fictitious documents
- Improperly using a guardianship
Falsification of any information or document required for residency verification or the use of an address of another person without actually residing there may result in the following:
- Revocation of student enrollment;
- Being held liable to reimburse the district for expenses incurred to educate the student(s); and
- Criminal or civil action for fraud, intentional or negligent misrepresentation, and any other actions allowed by law.
Why does the District verify addresses multiple times?
We verify addresses at the time of enrollment and when current CSD students enter grades K, 3, 6, and 9. A request for Verification of Student Residency may also be initiated when District staff members have reason to believe that the residence information provided at enrollment was inaccurate or is no longer accurate. Such information may include:
- school mail returned by the Post Office;
- reports by school bus drivers of a change in student residence;
- information provided by citizens or other students that a student’s residence has changed;
- information that a student who is dropped off by a parent is repeatedly late for school;
- information that a student is repeatedly picked up late from school;
- student reports to school staff that their residency has changed;
- information provided by landlords;
- multiple unrelated students using the same residence address;
- information that vehicle registration is not accurate for the county/city of residence; or
- other information that tends to suggest that a student’s residence may not be the same as that contained on school records.
What happens if the District investigates and I am caught using a false address?
The student will be withdrawn from City Schools of Decatur. The parent may be required to reimburse the District for tuition for the time period the student was enrolled and the investigative costs. The District may also pursue civil or criminal action against anyone making false claims.
Are parents to provide proof of residency each year?
No. Parents or legal guardians are required to provide proof of residency at the time of enrollment and when their child enters grades K, 3, 6, and 9.
I live outside of the City of Decatur but I also own property in the City of Decatur. Can I use my City of Decatur address to enroll in school in City Schools of Decatur since I pay taxes in the Decatur?
A person who owns property in the City of Decatur, but does not reside in the city is not considered a resident for purposes of enrollment. Rental property addresses may only be used for purposes of enrollment by the occupants of the address. When a family claims multiple residences, the residence for which they apply for a homestead exemption will be declared the primary residence
I own a business in the City of Decatur. Is my child allowed to attend a CSD school?
A person who owns property in the City of Decatur, but does not reside in the city is not considered a resident for purposes of enrollment. Likewise, ownership of a business within the city limits of the City of Decatur does not constitute residency for purposes of attending City Schools of Decatur unless the business is also the primary place of residence where the student sleeps overnight and where the student stays while not at work or school.
We are divorced and share custody of our children. Are both parents required to live in the City of Decatur for our children to attend school?
Where custody of a child is shared by two or more persons, the person who has the majority of time in physical custody shall be the parent or legal custodian whose residency shall be used for determining domicile and enrollment.
From the City of Decatur's Planning and Zoning page: