Hinsdale District 86 hires new firm to verify students’ residency

Hinsdale High School District 86 has hired a new firm to do residency checks of all students.

The School Board voted 4-3 July 21 to hire VerifyResidence.com to do a residency audit report at a cost of $2 per student.

With about 2,900 students expected to enroll at Hinsdale Central High School and 1,700 to enroll at Hinsdale South, the audit will cost about $9,200.

The firm, which is based in New Jersey, compares every student’s address with numerous consumer databases. If no matches are found, further investigation is done.

Two other companies bid for the work. American Heritage Advantage proposed charging $15 per student. National Investigations Inc.’s bid was for $2 per student.

National Investigation Inc. ran a check of all students’ addresses for the district last year, but Superintendent Bruce Law said he was not satisfied with the information obtained.

William Beitler, chief executive officer of National Investigations, objected to Law’s remarks.

Beitler said his firm is doing residency checks for more than 40 school districts in Illinois and Indiana, and has not heard a similar complaint before.

“All (District 86) had to do was go to the next step,” Beitler said.

The first step is checking the addresses against a Lexus Nexus database that is not searchable by the general public, Beitler said. National Investigations did that for District 86 and more than 500 families were “flagged,” he said.

The district received the list of student names that were cleared and those that warranted further investigation.

“It’s a tool for them to determine their budget,” and to see whether there really is a problem with false registrations, Beitler said. His firm would have double-checked the list before sending investigators to registered addresses to find out if the student’s family lives there. That measure would have been an additional cost.

School Board members Jennifer Planson, Kay Gallo and Michael Kuhn voted against hiring VerifyResidence.com, but with board member Victor Casini voting with members Edward Corcoran, Claudia Manley and Richard Skoda, the contract was approved.

Kuhn said the firm was out-of-state and presented no references and the district did not follow the process recommended by the previous investigative firm.

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