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Report: Non-Resident Students Cost Norwich Schools Nearly $3 Million

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Norwich Public School District is finding and expelling out-of-town students.

A report by a retired Connecticut police detective finds 94 students, who were attending Norwich Public Schools illegally because they did not live in the area, have been removed from school.

Ed Peckham, who joined the district as the new attendance officer in 2019, was hired by the school district to find out-of-town students. A report he released in November estimated those students cost the district $2.7 million, or 3% of the budget for the previous school year.

 

Peckham told the Norwich Bulletin that he found students living in Willimantic, Mystic and New London after staking out parents and following their commute to school. He said some parents who live outside the district want to send their children to Norwich schools to access special education programs. Others come from small districts in eastern Connecticut with just one high school, and they look to Norwich for more educational opportunities.

Norwich Superintendent Kristen Stringfellow told the Bulletin she hired Peckham when the district launched the student residency program last November. 

 

“His work has saved the district a significant amount of money that will be reallocated to support our budget and the students of NPS,” Stringfellow said in a statement to the Bulletin.

 

Peckham works as an independent contractor for $32 an hour.