Ohio — On Monday grand theft charges were dismissed against Kelley Williams-Bolar and her father, Edward Williams, in the school residency case that has outraged the nation. But both still face felony counts of tampering with records, and the case continues to be a key part of the national debate over education reform.
The 40-year-old single mother of two works as a teacher’s assistant for special needs kids at a nearby high school and is going to school for her own teacher certification. She lives in an Akron housing project, but sent her daughters to school in the wealthier district of by using her father’s home address in neighboring Copley-Fairlawn.
After officials found out that the girls didn’t actually reside at their grandfather’s residence and therefore didn’t pay property taxes that went to the school, the district ordered the family to pay over $30,000 in back-tuition. Williams-Bolar refused, so officials then decided to bring forth criminal charges and she was convicted last week on of theft and tampering. The sentence: five years in prison, which was reduced to 10 days in jail; two years of probation; and 80 hours of community service. Her father, meanwhile, was also been charged with defrauding the district and is facing a trial later this month. Williams-Bolar was released from jail one day early after being given credit for time served shortly after her initial arrest in 2009.