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Homeless Mother Jailed for Sending Son to Public School with Fake Address

A homeless woman in Connecticut has been sentenced to prison for using a fake address to enroll her son in a public school outside of her former district. Tonya McDowell, who is black, listed her babysitter’s address so her son could attend a school in Norwalk, instead of Bridgeport, where she used to live. Now living out of a van, McDowell occasionally has stayed at a homeless shelter in Norwalk. She was accused of stealing over $15,000 in "free" educational services for her son. Coupled with other charges for selling illegal drugs, she was given a 12-year sentence in prison, suspended after she serves five years. Her attorney, Darnell Crosland, said: "You shouldn’t be arrested for stealing a free education. It’s just wrong."

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