Community Group Opposes DeKalb School Residency Investigations

May 1, 2018

A DeKalb group based at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church held an informational meeting outlining its opposition to a DeKalb School Board decision to investigate whether some students live outside district boundaries.  

The investigations were prompted by a lawsuit alleging that a large number of students lived out of district and were costing the district money. But the church’s pastor, Joe Mitchell, said he believes the effort is racial profiling. Another community member, Scott Campbell,  countered that removing students would raise school costs because federal and state funding are based on enrollment.

Dr. Howard Solomon is a member of the DeKalb School Board.
Credit Chase Cavanaugh / WNIJ News

Dr. Howard Solomon, a school board member, was also in attendance.  He voted against the investigations because of their intrusion into student and family lives.  

“It builds cognitive load, which makes it more difficult to learn," he said. "So it’s antithetical to what it is we’re supposed to be doing as educators." 

David Becker is a DeKalb resident with a child in the local schools. He urged people to voice their concerns with the Board of Education.

David Becker is a DeKalb resident with a child in the local school system.
Credit Chase Cavanaugh / WNIJ News

"I don't like our money being spent this way. I don’t like our children being surveilled, us gathering information this way. I don’t like this happening under the radar without the community being involved. I think those are some of the messages we’re really hoping people will either say or write.”

The school board meets tonight at DeKalb High School.

The opposition group will hold another informational meeting Wednesday night at Connexion Communidad. Like Monday’s meeting, it will include a representative from Prairie State Legal Services, who will discuss how families can respond to investigations.