The Democrat and Chronicle's outrageous headline: "Woman arrested in a school scam."
According to the charges, the mother, Yolanda Hill, lives in Rochester but has been sending her children to Greece schools, and she didn't pay tuition. And, according to the charges, she lied and said her children lived in Greece. In the eyes of the law, she has stolen money from Greece taxpayers.
Yes, if Hill broke the law and lied about it, that was wrong. But much worse is a system that traps the region's poorest children in poor neighborhoods and sends them to concentrated-poverty schools. Also much worse: knowing - as all of us do - that those children almost certainly won't get a good education, and not doing anything about it.
What to do about it? Break up the concentration of poverty in urban school districts, through regional schools, campus schools, more charter schools - take your pick. But it is immoral to doom those children. And it should be no surprise when parents try to get a good education for their children in any way they can.
Yolanda Hill's story has produced a media frenzy, along with the usual surge of comments on local media websites. Some have been sympathetic to Hill and her family; many, predictably, have been obnoxious.
Something good could come out of this. Community leaders might realize the depth of our urban education crisis and actually try to do something about it. I know what'll happen, though; they'll point fingers at the Rochester school district again. And that'll get them off the hook. And nothing will change.
-Mary Anna Towler