Federal education officials are investigating the San Mateo Unified School district for selectively enforcing residency rules against Chinese-Americans living with relatives who are not their parents, according to reports.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports "multiple" instances of Chinese-American high school students forced to attend underperforming high schools away from their homes. In Hoi Ki Sin's case, she graduated from middle school in Millbrae -- but won't be allowed to attend Mills High. Instead, the school district assigned her to the district's lowest-performing high school in San Bruno, because the district "does not recognize" her residency with relatives, the newspaper reported.
"They said I'm not living in Millbrae," the girl, 14, told the newspaper.
An attorney said the district kept one girl out of school for two years because her parents had moved back to China while she lived with relatives. The school district has kept students from attending their local schools because "their parents' names weren't on the home deed or rental agreement, or the head of household wasn't legally registered as the student's guardian," the newspaper reported.
The U.S. Department of Education is investigating if the school district is selectively enforcing its residency policy against Chinese-Americans who live with relatives other than their parents, the newspaper reported.
Some surmise that the district is trying to boost test scores by moving traditionally high-performing Chinese-Americans to poor-performing high schools.