- MORESPORTS - Child welfare probes 'educational neglect'

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Friday, August 31
Child welfare probes 'educational neglect'

NEW YORK -- Child welfare officials are investigating the school enrollment of the entire Rolando Paulino All-Star Little League team after questions were raised about two of its players, including Danny Almonte.

The city's Administration for Children's Services decided Friday to check all of the team's players "to make sure they're enrolled for the coming school year," spokeswoman Jennifer Falk said.

City officials have already determined that Almonte -- the team's star pitcher -- was not enrolled in school last year.

"We're treating that as a case of education neglect," said Falk, whose agency is trying to determine why Almonte, who lived with his father in the Bronx, did not attend school during the 2000-01 year.

Its investigation could lead to the removal of the boy from his father's home and placement in foster care, she said, although it is more likely officials will try to work out another solution.

Felipe de Jesus Almonte had said his son was enrolled in P.S. 70 last year.

Child welfare and school officials met with Almonte's family at their home Friday. Although the boy's uncle in the Dominican Republic said he believed Almonte would return there soon, Falk said they made plans to enroll the boy in New York.

"It was a very productive meeting," said Falk, adding that the enrollment paperwork is expected to be filed next week.

The Administration for Children's Services was contacted by the city's Board of Education after the New York Daily News reported Thursday that Danny was not enrolled in school last year. The Daily News reported Friday that a second player did not attend the school listed by the team.

The responsibility to enroll a child rests with the parent or guardian. By state law, a child must attend school until the age of 17.

Almonte was brought to New York by his father in 2000. His father said the boy came in the spring, but visa records show he arrived in June.


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