posted on Apr, 23 2005 @ 08:16 PM
In November 2004, a controversy erupted over education costs for the Senator's children. Santorum's legal address is in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, a
suburb of Pittsburgh, but he lives most of the year at his home in Leesburg, Virginia near Washington, DC. Santorum's five older children received
education through the Western Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School with 80% of tuition costs paid by the Penn Hills School District.
At a meeting in November 2004, the Penn Hills School District announced that it did not believe Santorum met the qualifications for residency status
since he and his family spend most of the year in Virginia. They demanded repayment of tuition costs totaling $100,000.
Reporters visiting the house Santorum claimed as his noted that, as a two-bedroom, it seemed small for the large Santorum family. The door was
answered by a man who refused to identify himself, and neighbors said two cars were regularly parked at the house. When checking at the township
government offices, they discovered the building department had never issued a certificate of occupancy and thus no one could legally live in it.
Supporters of the Senator claim that the controversy is politically motivated as the school board is controlled by Democrats and Erin Vecchio, the
school board member who first publicly raised the issue, is the chair of the local Democratic Party. They also claim that since Santorum votes in Penn
Hills and pays property and school taxes there, he is entitled to the same privileges as any other Penn Hills resident.
After the controversy erupted, Santorum said he would make other arrangements for his children's education, but insists he does not owe the school
board any back tuition. In early 2005, both sides agreed to work out a settlement outside the court system. A state appointed hearing officer has set
a deadline of May 9, 2005 for the parties to reach a settlement.