School Committee Eyes Savings by Enforcing Ban on Out-of-State Students

(File photograph.)

The Haverhill School Committee is looking to a Methuen example in an attempt to crackdown on out-of-state student enrollments.

A proposal from committee President Scott W. Wood Jr. to form a residency enforcement policy and establish an anonymous hotline for residents to report alleged violators was forwarded by the committee Wednesday night to its policy subcommittee. Wood, subcommittee chairman, told WHAV a plan would be prepared in time for a school committee vote next week. He said a similar policy saved the Methuen school district more than $1 million a year and he would expect “significant savings” for Haverhill schools.

“I had a discussion with the superintendent about it. He had observed himself, along with many of the principals, some of the parents dropping their students off in vehicles with New Hampshire plates. We have numerous (post office) box addresses where people are registering their children. And right now, we don’t have any real follow-up,” Wood said.

Wood believes greater student services, including special education, are a draw for parents in nearby New Hampshire communities.

“We’re a border community with New Hampshire and Massachusetts, specifically Haverhill, simply provide superior special education services than the state of New Hampshire does,” Wood said. “And if you live right over the border, it makes a lot more sense to use a Haverhill or Massachusetts address and get better services. Unfortunately, that means the Haverhill taxpayer is subsidizing out of state residents.”

Out of town students enrolled under the state’s “School Choice” program would not be affected, Wood said. However, he also said the city would be have the right to be reimbursed by another in-state community if a student who would qualify under school choice was enrolled using a Haverhill address.

8 thoughts on “School Committee Eyes Savings by Enforcing Ban on Out-of-State Students

    • Rich, if they identify people have been intentionally defrauding the system to obtain expensive special education benefits don’t you think the city should be pursue them legally for restitution? Put The Taxman’s attorney Cox to work on something that actually helps taxpayers.

  1. I thought Haverhill was already checking students for residency, but having said that….. what government accepts students or anyone else based upon a PO Box? Dumb, dumb, dumb if that is indeed what is happening. The City of Haverhill has all of the information it needs, so why are students not checked for residency when they newly enroll for school. City government makes its own problems, then expects (and does) tax its residents out of the mess that it creates.

  2. Here we go AGAIN….
    Scott Wood is such an amateur, and he thinks he’s being cute and no one will notice this little ploy. After having absolutely no skills and ability to successfully negotiate a contract with the teachers union that would be in the best interest of taxpayers and instead gave the farm away he’s trying to save face by coming up with a ploy to save money. So what does he do…he makes a claim with absolutely no facts, no statistics, and no valid information….just speculation. Scott, in the real world working at a real corporation you’d be walked to the door for making public such a claim with no supporting documentation other than what some other city did.

    But more importantly….if you’ve known about the savings Methuen received from doing this why hasn’t this already been done????