The Beverly Hills Unified School District has strengthened its already strict residency verification requirements.
About 35 percent of students in grades one through eight and grades ten and eleven will be randomly selected each year and be given 30 days to provide extensive documentation proving that they live in the Beverly Hills. Students in kindergarten and in ninth grade are exempt from the process because their families would have already shown such documents to register at one of the four K-8 schools or at Beverly Hills High School.
BHUSD students show such documentation in 2010, but families were given three months to provide the paperwork. Even with this relatively long lead time, the district found and who did not meet residency requirements.
The strict paperwork rules were introduced after BHUSD became a basic aid district. Under basic aid, the district’s funding is tied to local taxes rather than the traditional per-student funding.
“In light of the State of California’s fiscal challenges, the Beverly Hills Unified School District is committed to ensuring that all available resources are spent efficiently and effectively... it is critical that we have a precise accounting of our student population,” BHUSD Chief Academic Officer Jennifer Tedford said in an email last week to BHUSD families.
Families would be chosen for residency verification “through a random selection process,” she said in the email, adding, “Those who are randomly selected will be advised to bring the following documents to your child’s school within 30 days of notification:"
- A completed residency verification form;
- A completed residency verification affidavit, with signatures witnessed by an adult who is not a family member;
- Original rental agreement, mortgage statement or property tax bill;
- Original documents and copies of all required items for verification of identity and residence, including original utility bill and a photo ID.
The Board of Education refined the residency verification process at its last meeting August 27. Board Vice President asked that the policy call for random selection of families throughout the school year so that parents would not have a long lead time to produce documents. He reasoned that a new utility bill could possibly be produced within two months but not within one month.