Public education is usually free — but it’s going to cost a New Jersey family thousands.
A Brick Township, New Jersey mother sent her son to schools in a neighboring district, which was the wrong district, according to officials.
The woman who lives in Brick but has a Howell Township mailing address enrolled the boy in Howell schools in 2014. It’s not uncommon for mailing addresses not to follow municipal boundaries in New Jersey, according to NJ.com.
The student attended schools in Howell for three years, the publication reported. During that time, the family was alerted to the residency issue (in 2016), NJ.com said. But the boy still finished the school year.
Now, the mother, identified in court documents as T.K, owes more than $10,000, New Jersey 101.5 reported. An administrative judge and the district determined that the district was owed $84.24 for each day that the student attended school after the family was informed of the problem — 124 days, the radio station said.
The determination was upheld this month by the state commissioner of education, after the family appealed the 2017 decision, documents show.
The family owes money for Dec. 9, 2016 to the end of the 2016-2017 school year, the decision said. During that time, the student was “ineligible” to attend school in the district and wasn’t entitled to a free public education, court documents said.
The money will go to the Howell Board of Education, NJ.com reported.
Howell Township is roughly 12 miles northwest of Brick.