Arlington, VA

Arlington Public Schools need a full-time residency verification specialist, according to Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy, but such a position isn’t provided for in the school system’s proposed budget.

Dr. Murphy listed the residency verification specialist as an “unfunded operational need” during his school budget presentation last month. So far, APS has only employed a part-time residency specialist to complete the “very labor intensive” process of researching the residency of students.

“One of the issues that we often hear from time to time is there are folks that are attending our schools who do not actually reside in our school division,” Dr. Murphy said. “While we’ve had a part-time position dedicated to that on a very small basis, I’m finding the need [for a full-time position] as we look at… the number of students that may be attending our schools that are not residents.”

“I think it’s a responsibility incumbent upon us as an organization using citizen tax dollars to make sure that those kids who are getting an education here are, in fact… residents of Arlington,” Dr. Murphy added.

Word that non-residents may be attending Arlington schools comes as APS is facing a system-wide capacity crisis.

While the need may be there, the residency verification specialist is listed along with an expanded elementary school foreign language program, additional Montessori classes and new print shop equipment as needs that won’t be funded in the FY 2013 budget currently under consideration. Dr. Murphy is hoping to find money for those and other unfunded needs in a future budget.

The Arlington County School Board will present the proposed budget to the Arlington Civic Federation tonight. A public hearing on the FY 2013 budget will be held at Thursday’s School Board meeting around 7:30 p.m.

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