Area School Residency Requirements Not Equally Enforced

While Jackson Parish Schools students must go to school in the district where their parents or guardians reside, it appears that at least one West Monroe HS student’s high profile parents don’t have to follow the law.

See here U. S. District Judge Robert James’ order that directs Jackson Parish students to attend schools in their attendance zones.

Order of Modification

From the document:

Address Verification

a. All students. In addition to completing the Residency Form, students seeking to enroll or to continue enrollment in the District schools for school year 2015-2016, or for the first time at any time thereafter, must provide at least two (2) of the items listed below as verification of the student’s address. The submitted documents must show the location by street address of the residence of the parent, legal guardian, foster care parent, or non-parents (as applicable) where the child maintains his or her primary residence.
• Current valid driver’s license or state ID showing a residential street address (not a post office box)
• Current property tax records
• Current mortgage documents or property deed
• In cases of apartment or home lease, a notarized statement from the property owner/lessor identifying himself/herself as the property owner/lessor, describing the property, and the term of the lease, identifying the lease-holder
• Current rent payment receipt or copy of money order made for payment of rent showing residence address
• Current valid automobile registration showing residence address
• Current telephone or utility bill showing residence address
• Current voter identification card showing residence address
• Notarized affidavit verifying residence (street) address

However, Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Attorney John Belton claims a Lincoln Parish address as his primary residence, but his son John Randall attends West Monroe HS. Both Belton and his wife Alana are registered Lincoln Parish voters.

See here from the LA Secretary of State website:

John F. K. Belton
Alana Gilbert Belton

Belton’s latest financial disclosure statement lists his address as 138 Griffin Road, Ruston. The Lincoln Parish Tax Assessor website confirms property at that location belonging to John and Alana Belton, and that is homestead exempt. See here the documents:

Financial Disclosure (2015)
Lincoln Parish Tax Records (2015)

According to Louisiana’s Election Law, LA RS RS 18:101:

B. For purposes of the laws governing voter registration and voting, “resident” means a citizen who resides in this state and in the parish, municipality, if any, and precinct in which he offers to register and vote, with an intention to reside there indefinitely. If a citizen resides at more than one place in the state with an intention to reside there indefinitely, he may register and vote only at one of the places at which he resides. If a person claims a homestead exemption, pursuant to Article VII, Section 20 of the Constitution of Louisiana, on one of the residences, he shall register and vote in the precinct in which that residence is located, except that a person who resides in a nursing home as defined in R.S. 40:2009.2 or in a veterans’ home operated by the state or federal government may register and vote at the address where the nursing home or veterans’ home is located. For purposes of voter registration and voting, the residence of a married woman shall be determined in the same manner as is required for any other citizen. A citizen of this state shall not be or remain registered or vote in more than one place of residence at any one time.

Lincoln Parish School’s Student Assignment Policy says this:

VERIFICATION OF RESIDENCE

The School Board shall require verification of residence of those students whose residence is suspected to be outside the attendance zone of the school the student is attending. When investigating the residence of a student, the School Board shall attempt to verify the primary place of residence of the legal parent or legal guardian. Such verification of residence shall be based on such items as the following:

1. Voter registration card of parent or guardian, or
2. Property tax statement of parent or guardian showing homestead exemption, or
3. Certified copy of any judicially ordered tutorship, custody or guardianship of any minor child student not domiciled or in the custody of their natural and/or legal parents. Verification of the physical residency of the legal custodian, tutor/tutrix or non-parent shall also be required, or
4. Any other documentation as may be stipulated by the Board.

Apparently Belton uses a West Monroe address for purposes of school attendance. See here the document:

115 Creole Lane, West Monroe, LA 71291

Ouachita Parish Schools Student Assignment Policy says this:

Each student shall have only one residence (domicile) which is determined to be the place where he/she predominantly sleeps, takes meals, and maintains personal belongings. To establish domicile in the Ouachita Parish School District, a parent or legal custodian must present sufficient information which supports both that the parent, legal custodian, or caregiver is actually domiciled within the Ouachita Parish School Board jurisdictional school boundaries, and confirm that the child under his or her care, custody and/or control is actually domiciled with that parent or legal custodian.

See here the document.

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8 Responses to “Area School Residency Requirements Not Equally Enforced”

  1. FirstDown Says:

    everyone knows by now that football and the interests of the democrat party are above the law. nothing new here.

  2. James Says:

    Old news….nothing to see….keep moving….

    • James Says:

      We all know you HATE John Belton for some reason and support Cary Brown….this is obvious….I know your not a real reporter…but stop being so BIAS!!

  3. The Jet Says:

    “While Jackson Parish Schools students must go to school in the district where their parents or guardians reside…”

    Since when? Oh, the powers-that-be FINALLY gonna get tight on that now? We’ll see. Attendance zone lines weren’t worth the map they were printed on in the Jackson Parish I grew up in.

    As for the school of choice for Mr. Belton’s kids, why dredge this up now? This was already discussed in the run-up to the election last year, became a minor campaign issue that forced him to address it in a statement, if memory serves me right. This post isn’t bringing anything new to the table in that matter, so why keep floating it?

  4. Deep throat Says:

    Stay on him–there are serious issues and conflicts to uncover

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I remember Belton stating, during the election, that Lincoln was his home. He also stated that a residence was setup in WM because his oldest child would do better at that school.

    I always wondered how he was going to pull off the Lincoln and WM thing if he had been chosen as the WD Federal Prosecutor. Would he have had 3 homes?

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Haters gonna hate. Cary Lost. Not enough racists left for ole’ Bill and his termite.

  7. Bob Sherunkel Says:

    This issue was, for the most part, ONLY discussed here, not in The Daily Disappointment and barely covered in the Gannett rag.

    In answer to a couple questions regarding the Jackson Parish enforcement of this requirement, yes, they are enforcing it this year by federal mandate. It has caused quite the stir in Jackson parish too.

    As to those who say that this is an issue that should be dropped or that it is somehow from the camp of those who supported Mr. Brown, think again. Were Mr. Belton found to not be qualified to serve, the job would be given to his cheif prosecutor, namely, Lori James.

    It is much more probable that this has more to do with football qualifications than office qualifications, although for me, I want a local serving in that office, not a West Monroe resident with a house in Ruston.

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