School District Enrollment of a Child That Stayed With His Grandparents

In Brenner ex rel. Johnson v. West Shore School District, 780 A.2d 726 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2001) the school district informed the child's grandparents that the child must immediately withdraw from the school district and enroll in the district where her parents resided. Although the child stayed with the grandparents four to five nights per week during the school year, the parents provided substantial support for the child including, among other things, health insurance, a bedroom and food and clothing, and they declared the child as a dependent on their state and federal tax returns. The child's mother also drove the child to school. The Court stated that "[t]o support a showing of supporting the child gratis, the proponent must present evidence that the guardian is doing more than merely not receiving payment for keeping the child in the guardian's house." Id. at 730. The Court agreed with the trial court that while the grandparents maintained significant involvement with the child, the parents' involvement in the child's daily needs undermined the grandparents' claim that they supported the child gratis as if she were their own.