Three more parents charged with false school enrollment

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By Tracy Harris

Charges against three additional parents were filed in Oldham County District Court Tuesdays as the county's fraudulent enrollment cases pile up. Investigations for the 2011-12 school year currently number 43 families with 63 children. As of Wednesday evening warrants had not been served to the three defendants.

According to the criminal complaints, Cheryl McGuire and Jim McGuire are charged with falsely enrolling their son in Oldham schools. Cheryl enrolled the son at Crestwood Elementary in Oct. 2009, with the father's Ballardsville address listed as the primary residence.

However, a Jefferson county court order establishes that the son's primary address is with his mother and a visitation schedule for the father for alternating weekends.

Cheryl lives off Poplar Level Road near the Louisville Zoo and the school district's investigation concluded the son is being transported to and from school on a daily basis by the mother or maternal grandmother.

That's a 23-mile one-way trip. Assuming two trips to the school and back, that's 92 miles per day.

Cheryl is charged with theft by deception for falsely enrolling her son in Oldham County for 222 days at $18.63 per day, for a total of $4,135.86. Jim is charged with only this year's school days, 47 days at $18.63 per day for a total of $875.61.

Dawne Grigsby enrolled her children in Oldham schools using the La Grange address of her mother's home. According to the criminal complaint, Grigsby's family members confirmed that the children live with their father in Henry County and are "either transported to school or to the bus stop by him each morning."

The complaint also claims the children are either picked up after school or ride the bus to their grandmother's house in La Grange, or to other La Grange destinations.

Grigsby is thought to reside in Shelby County. She is charged with theft by deception for $1,751.22 — the cost to the Oldham County Board of Education and taxpayers for sending two children to 47 days of school this year at $18.63 per day.

When charged with theft by deception, the school district calculates the cost at $18.63 per day for each student. 

Per year, the cost to educate a student in Oldham County is about $7,140, said Dan Orman, assistant superintendent for student services. 

The local tax costs amount to $3,260.89, and is divided by the 175 days in a school year to come up with the daily cost.

The remaining expense is funded by the state, Orman said, and is paid according to enrollment, so the district does get that money for students falsely enrolled.

Until three years ago, the county did little to enforce residency rules. Now, parents who do not own their homes must sign a residency affidavit that includes the property owner’s signature. 

During the 2009-10 school year, four families with 14 children were asked to leave the district. Last year those numbers rose to nine families with 13 children.