Residency affidavits due for Coweta students

Is your child attending a Coweta County public school a resident of the county? Are you? The answer to those questions must be “yes” in order to keep her in school. Signed affadavits of residence for every Coweta public school student must be in place by Dec. 21 to comply with a federal decree from the U.S. Dept. of Justice.          

School system spokesman Dean Jackson said the affidavits are a requirement of a consent decree entered in federal court between the Coweta County School System and the U. S. Justice Department. The consent decree will provide an opportunity to resolve the 1973 Court Order which governs the Coweta County School System’s desegregation attempts, Jackson said. As long as the order is outstanding, affidavits of residence are required of all currently-enrolled students during every school year, Jackson added.

That said, the affidavits for the 2011-2012 school year must be completed and filed with schools by Wednesday, Dec. 21 in order for students to remain enrolled in their school, said Jackson, adding that letters informing parents and guardians of the requirement are being sent to all student households.

To fulfill the requirements of the court order all parents, legal guardians or other lawful custodians of students attending the Coweta County School System must sign under oath and deliver to the school his or her student is attending an affadavit of residence and two of the following items that will verify residency:

-property tax records which indicate the location of the residence;

-mortgage documents or a security deed which indicates the location of the residence;

-apartment or home lease or rent receipt indicating the current address;

-current utility bill for electricity or utility application for electricity showing the current address; or

-voter precinct identification card or other voter documentation indicating the current address.

Jackson said parents are asked to complete the Affidavit of Residence, signed in the presence of a Notary Public, and submit it with two pieces of the residency documentation listed above by Dec. 21 in order for students to remain enrolled in the second semester starting Jan. 5, 2012.

Parents, legal guardians, or other lawful custodians who do not reside in a home that they own or rent may require a two-party affidavit certifying that they and their enrolled child live at the address provided. That affidavit must be verified and signed by both the parent and the person who owns or rent the home, said Jackson. Those two-party affidavits may be obtained at the school system’s Central Registration Center at 167 Werz Industrial Drive in Newnan. For more information call 770-254-5551.

Jackson said an online, printable copy of the 2011-12 affidavit can also be found at the school system’s website at www.cowetaschools.org or can be picked up at any Coweta public school. The completed forms must be notarized, Jackson said, adding that all schools employ Notaries Public for parents convenience.

Jackson said the consent decree was issued in U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in November 2006 to pursue resolution of the 1973 Court Order which governs the system’s desegregation efforts. The issuance of the decree followed more than a year of discussions and negotiations with representatives of the Civil Rights Division of the U. S. Justice Department, said Jackson.

In 2006, to fully comply with the court order, the Coweta County Board of Education adopted three new policies incorporating the language and requirements of the Consent Decree, including policy JBCCA (Student Assignment to Schools), JBCD (Student Transfers), and JBCDA (Majority-to-Minority Transfers).

Those policies can be found on the school system’s website at www.cowetaschools.org