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Tenafly public schools re-register students

April 12, 2011 2:45:28 PM PDT
Parents lined up at the district office in Tenafly on Tuesday to prove that they really live here and to assure their child's spot in this highly-ranked public school system.

Tenafly public schools are consistently ranked in the top three in New Jersey. In fact, the schools are so good that the town is requiring all 3600 students to re-register to ensure they actually live here.

"I have no reason to suspect anything, but I know that cheating does occur," parent Jack Epstein said.

To re-register, parents need to provide four proofs of residency, including a deed, a property tax bill or a notarized letter from a landlord. They also need a copy of their child's birth certificate. If they can't come up with the documents or the forms prove the family lives in Tenafly, the child won't be able to attend school here in September.

"If we have students attending schools who don't live here, that's not fair to our taxpayers," Tenafly Superintendent Lynn Trager said.

The re-registration is popular with many parents. Tenafly homeowners pay high property taxes, most of which go to fund the schools.

'Classes are big enough. We don't need extra kids in the classroom," parent Shari Nestler said.

The threat of overcrowding is a concern, especially at the high school, where some advanced placement classes have close to thirty students.

'Some kids are suffering because they're falling through the cracks, because there are just so many kids to keep track of," parent Robin Epstein said.

And at a time where school budgets are tight and state aid is declining, districts like Tenafly are looking to save every penny.

"We need to protect our taxpayers and our students we want to provide the best education for students who live in Tenafly," Trager said.

So far just one school of the six here has fully reregistered. Eighty-five percent of parents provided the documents required. Now it's a matter of tracking down the15 percent who were no-shows.

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