The Norwalk Public Schools issues this press release to clarify the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Tanya McDowell and her son’s enrollment and attendance in the Norwalk Public Schools. Ms. McDowell’s son was enrolled in Brookside Elementary School from September 2010 through January 2011, based on Ms. McDowell’s registration and residency affidavit, which stated that Ms. McDowell and her son resided in Norwalk.
On January 11, 2011, Ms. McDowell testified in the Norwalk Housing Court that she and her son actually lived at 66 Priscilla Circle, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She did not testify at that time that she was homeless.
Sometime prior to January 19, 2011, Ms. McDowell registered her son in a public school in Bridgeport. That school sent the Brookside Elementary School a request for “Previous School Information,” which had been signed by Ms. McDowell. Attendance records indicate that her son’s last day at Brookside School was January 14, 2011.
The Norwalk Public Schools enrolled Ms. McDowell’s son in September 2010, based on residence information provided by Ms. McDowell. The Norwalk Public Schools did not initiate the proceeding in the Housing Court at which Ms. McDowell testified. The Norwalk Public Schools did not initiate a residency proceeding to remove Ms. McDowell’s son from Brookside Elementary School. Finally, the Norwalk Public Schools did not initiate any action for tuition reimbursement against Ms. McDowell, or file a criminal complaint against Ms. McDowell.
The Norwalk Public Schools fully complies with the McKinney-Vento Act, which requires public schools to provide education for homeless students. In this case, according to her own testimony, Ms. McDowell and her son reside in Bridgeport, and we are aware of no evidence that she or her son is homeless.