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It has come to pass: On Oct. 6, I urged D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown to beware of the excuses that would surface as he and his colleagues try to stop out-of-boundary students from getting a free ride in D.C. schools.

Lo and behold, we learned Thursday that youths who do not live in the city are getting that free ride because school officials are giving them a free pass.

The District’s chief of schools, John Davis, told council members that 83 nonresidents were students in D.C. schools last school year, and school officials cannot collect money from their cheating parents and guardians because the school system lacks “the capacity.”

Charter school violators also were enumerated — 24 families representing 35 children.

Educating 118 violators won’t likely drive the city’s budget into a red sinkhole, but council members must be emphatic about their legislative gauntlet on school residency.

A) Violators are breaking the law.

B) Each nonresident who violates the law is snatching a classroom seat from a deserving D.C. student.

C) By not collecting fines, D.C. school officials are thumbing their noses at taxpayers and children.

The point of the Oct. 6 hearing was to emphasize the need to beef up enforcement of the city’s school-residency laws, encourage whistle-blowers to lodge anonymous complaints and put school officials on notice about the chain of command, among other things, including quadrupling fines to $2,000.

But school authorities put lawmakers on notice.

Not only did Mr. Davis tell them it is “beyond the capacity” of school officials to collect tuition from cheating parents, he also said they would prefer instead to educate the children of cheating parents.

In other words, forget the law.

So I have a question for Mr. Brown and his colleagues: What are you going to do if D.C. parents bring a class-action lawsuit because students from Maryland and Virginia “bump” their children out of the classroom?

• Deborah Simmons can be reached dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.