A Franklin Township family was hit with a $35,462 tuition bill after the state ruled the family's principal residence was not in South Brunswick, where its three children attended school.

The state Department of Education ruled in favor of the district after its investigator found no activity at the family's rental home in the Monmouth Junction section on 27 occasions in the 2015-16 school year, according to a decision released this month by the state commissioner of education.

The South Brunswick investigator watched the father's cars pick up the kids in Franklin and drive his children to a school bus stop 28 times. Two of the children went to the middle school and a third to the high school. The name of the family was not disclosed.

Tuition was calculated at $11,873 for each of his two children in middle school and $11,716 for his child in high school.

In a separate case released this month, state education officials have ordered an Asbury Park mother to pay Neptune Township schools $8,330 for tuition owed through April for her child. The mother argued that she was renting an apartment in the township, but an investigation showed they lived in the neighboring city.

The news comes just days after family members of a child who'd attended the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District learned they'd be billed $38,329, because a state official sided with that district in a dispute over the child's residency.

In that case, family members had said the child lived in Bridgewater, but was sometimes taken at night to stay with the child's mother South Bound Brook, because of separation anxiety issues. The mother was staying with her own mother, who is ill, in South Bound Brook, family members told New Jersey 101.5

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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