Homeless Mother Imprisoned For Sending Kid To Better School District, Charged For Stealing Free Public Education
A mother who pleaded guilty to fraudulently enrolling her six-year-old son in the wrong school district has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Tonya McDowell sent her son to an elementary school in Norwalk, Connecticut, instead of her home city of Bridgeport.
The 34-year-old, who was homeless when she was charged with felony larceny last year, said she wanted the best education possible for the boy.
Authorities told the hearing that she used a babysitter’s address to enroll her son in kindergarten in Norwalk when he should have attended schools in Bridgeport, her last permanent address.
McDowell told police she was living in a van and occasionally slept at a Norwalk shelter or a friend’s Bridgeport apartment when she enrolled her son Norwalk’s Brookside Elementary School.
Police said McDowell stole $15,686 worth of free educational services from Norwalk.
She also pleaded guilty to four counts of sale of narcotics, which will be included in her prison sentence.
McDowell was sentenced to 12 years in jail, suspended after she serves five years, and five years probation.