Kelley Williams-Bolar made national headlines back in January when she was caught sending her two daughters across district lines from the woeful Akron Public Schools to the plusher Copley-Fairlawn School District. In the name of her cause, pitchforks were raised, battle trumpets were sounded, and petitions were signed?no fewer than eight ?Save Kelley? Facebook pages were created.
And the same predictable tempest has already begun to brew around the case of Tonya McDowell, a Connecticut mother now fined over $15,000 for sending her son to a neighboring, out-of-bounds school district. Probably rightfully so. Both cases offer school-choice advocates clear examples of students and parents hurt by onerous and antiquated districting systems. They both offer a Rosa Parks-like poster child to prove how decent people are being hurt. Williams-Bolar was a student-teacher, working to become licensed in Ohio educator, clearly dedicated to K-12 education. And McDowell is homeless.
Where they diverge, and what is most interesting about McDowell's situation, is in the last word of the previous sentence: homeless.
Per the McKinney-Vento Act (really, it's just 185 pages of NCLB), homeless students must be allowed access to their ?school of origin for the duration of their homelessness.? Details about McDowell's situation have yet to surface, but out of the fog we learn a few key facts: McDowell and her son are homeless, splitting their time between a homeless shelter and a friend's apartment in Bridgeport, CT. To attain access to the Norwalk Public Schools, McDowell...