One of the two candidates to file, so far, to run for District 10 city council seat, Adam McGough, has faced recent scrutiny about his family’s residency vis-à-vis their utilization of Highland Park ISD public schools.
For background, refer to our previous coverage.
HPISD’s communications director Helen Williams today confirmed that the district is officially investigating the McGough residency case. McGough says his wife Lacy lived in Highland Park while their children attended school there. During that time, McGough lived in a Lake Highlands home. The investigation will determine whether the McGoughs’ children in fact were eligible for enrollment in HPISD.
Williams says she can comment no further on an ongoing investigation.
She recently did outline in detail for us the district’s protocol when investigating a residency:
The district makes it easy to report suspicious residency, she says, and HPISD investigates all reports it receives.
A residency investigator starts with paperwork — leases, water bills, driver’s licenses, Williams writes in an email to the Advocate — and talks with the administrators at the school of enrollment to identify unique situations or insight that will aid in the investigation. The investigator searches tax records to determine properties owned, both in Highland Park and elsewhere; if the records show properties owned outside HPISD boundaries, it could warrant further investigation to determine primary residence.
At this point, Williams tells us, “if the research doesn’t yield an explanation and the circumstances still seem uncertain, two options are considered: The residence is observed for indications that the subjects of the investigation reside at the claimed residence. Or, the parents/guardians are contacted directly to arrange a home visit to confirm their residency.”
HPISD doesn’t have a history of pressing legal charges in residency cases, Williams says. But the district has pursued tuition reimbursement (about $50 per day) charges in the past.
As of late 2014, the McGough family lives together in Lake Highlands and the children attend school at Scofield Christian School. We will update as we learn more.