Homeless Mom Faces Jail for Enrolling Son in School

Woman charged with grand larceny after boy sent to wrong school
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2011 3:44 AM CDT
Updated Apr 27, 2011 4:25 AM CDT
"I have dreams for A.J," McDowell says of her son. "He has so much personality. He wants to be a police officer."   (YouTube)

(Newser) – A homeless mother who sent her child to the wrong Connecticut public school could be jailed for up to 20 years for stealing $15,686—the cost of a year's education in Norwalk. Tanya McDowell was charged with grand larceny after authorities discovered that she sent her 6-year-old son to a school in Norwalk using a fake address, reports the New York Daily News. Authorities say she should have sent him to a school in Bridgeport, where she sometimes slept at a friend's apartment.

The Connecticut Parents Union is backing McDowell in her battle with authorities. "I'm very disappointed in the mayor's leadership," said a spokeswoman. "He's responsible not only for adult taxpayers but future taxpayers. To be so callous on this issue and victimize the mom. Nobody is focusing on this child." The mayor, who stresses that McDowell has a criminal record and is not a "poor, picked-upon homeless person," says penalties must be enforced for stealing the city's services.

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