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Connecticut mom pleads not guilty over school enrollment

By John Published: April 27, 2011

Stephanie Reitz
Associated Press

NORWALK, CONN.: A homeless single mother has been arraigned for allegedly stealing educational services by sending her son to the wrong Connecticut school district.

Tanya McDowell pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony larceny.

She is charged with using her babysitter's address to enroll her son in Norwalk schools last fall. Prosecutors say the 5-year-old belonged in Bridgeport, where McDowell had her last permanent address.

She is charged with stealing $15,686 worth of education.

McDowell told police she lives in her van and sleeps at a Norwalk shelter or a friend's Bridgeport apartment. Her son now lives with relatives in Bridgeport and attends kindergarten there.

Her attorney is asking to move the case to another courthouse because the top prosecutor's father is Norwalk's mayor, who has been outspoken about the case.

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