Community Rallies Behind Homeless Mom Tanya McDowell

Out of 26 kids enrolled illegally in Conn. schools, only McDowell faces criminal charges.

By Channing Kennedy May 11, 2011

Today in a Norwalk, Connecticut court, Tanya McDowell got a continuation of her criminal case, pushing the hearing until June 7. McDowell, a homeless single mother, is charged with first-degree larceny for stealing $16,000 of education for her 5-year-old son by allegedly enrolling him in a neighboring school district, using her babysitter’s address.

On Monday, an official review found that 26 students have been removed from Norwalk schools for illegal enrollment, McDowell is the only parent to face criminal charges. Norwalk Patch has asked that the release of a 15,600-signature petition from the Connecticut Parents Union be presented to the prosecutor, citing the similar case of Kelley Williams-Bolar and calling for dismissal.

As Julianne Hing wrote here in April, McDowell faces 20 years in prison if convicted.