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Families Aunt Becky Their Way Into Performance Arts High School
#1
Booker T. Washington is a high-ranking performance arts high school in the Dallas Independent School District. It was placed near an area where there are a lot of economically disadvantaged children so that they could get arts training they wouldn't be able to afford otherwise. The expectation was that most of the children attending would be economically disadvantaged but only a third are. Instead, a surprising number of the students are wealthy. 

The only proof of residency families need to provide when applying is a utility bill with an in-district address. Some wealthy families rent apartments nearby, so at least they're paying some property taxes. However, other families are offering to pay their friends' utility bills to use their address, and some have rented apartments short-term just to get a utility bill. These families are not paying property taxes to DISD. It's believed that these Aunt Becky-ing families are mostly from the rich suburbs north of Dallas. They can afford to put their kids through the best private schools in their area, but they are putting them into Booker T. Washington for free. 

"Aunt Becky" is the term the author used in the article. I guess it's become synonymous with wealthy people lying to gain admission at a prestigious school. 

https://lakewood.advocatemag.com/2019/05...ashington/
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#2
If you rent an apartment, you aren't paying property taxes - only owners pay property taxes.

But, if people are cheating the system to get their kids into a school they want, the only way to fix that is to fix the system. Obviously people want these kinds of schools, so build more of them all over and let kids go there! Why would you build a single school, and then complain that too many kids want to go there and are cheating? Just fix the root problem, and you won't have to worry about it. You don't even have to build a new school - just implement the performing arts program into several schools. Done.

Here in CA, charter schools have become so popular that the state government is looking to limit them. That's the teacher's union at work for you. Instead of trying to improve regular public schools to compete, they want to take options away from parents and force them to put their kids in their local school. We even have this problem in poor districts where they are horribly run and the state is taking over because they're so bad. They STILL don't want charter schools to come into THAT district. It's ridiculous. Different problem, but same stupid public school system.
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#3
Renters pay property taxes indirectly. Owners aren't coming out of pocket if the place is occupied.

One of the wealthier districts these students are coming from make new students show a lease with at least a 12-month term or proof of a mortgage or homeownership. The wealthy districts have more than enough money to build their own performance arts high schools, or the families could send their kids to private schools. The problem is that these families are obsessed with having the best, and Booker T. Washington is the best performance arts high school in the Dallas area. DISD should just charge them tuition.
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#4
Like I said, if they just put the programs students wanted into schools, everyone would be a lot better off.

Yes, it sucks that they're gaming the system. I already agreed with that. But that's not my point. They shouldn't have to game the system to get schooling that they want. It should be available to everyone! If 5000 students are competing for 250 spaces, then they could put 20 performing arts programs in schools throughout the region and EVERYONE would be better off. Instead, they put in 1. Why? Whose decision was it to do that? Why aren't they providing the educational models students want?

It's the same here with charter schools. Families want options that fit them better. Instead of trying to provide that, the school systems refuse. Believe me, charter schools here aren't getting MORE money than regular public schools. My daughter's charter school campus has no soccer/football/track field. Instead, they have to have parents drive dozens of kids 5 miles away to another school for track 5 days a week. It's a giant pain in the ass. But we do it. Why? Because the charter school is a better option for a lot of kids - they just trade off not having sports facilities. The teacher's aren't union, but there are still good teachers there - why? Because they like the atmosphere better. They get paid less, but have to deal with less crap from administration. They aren't tied to common core, so actually get to spend more of their time teaching, and less doing paperwork.

If school systems actually tried to compete for students, everyone would get better outcomes, even the lower income students (especially the lower income students). They need to step up their game.
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