The school district of Longwood, L.I., is the first to adopt an e-mail alert system that notifies subscribers when a sex offender moves to any Long Island community, reports Newsday. The switch last week to the Parents for Megan’s Law-sponsored e-mail program increases the information parents can access about convicted sex offenders. Longwood’s postcard mailing service, which was discarded last week, advised residents only when sex offenders moved into the district. It was cumbersome and labor intensive, school officials said, because it required that 35,000 cards be mailed, running the risk that some might not be delivered to residents with new addresses. Superintendent Candee Swenson who estimated that the district spent $60,000 on the mailings last year alone.
Laura Ahearn of Parents for Megan’s Law, said, “We were delighted to find this system was available and could be accessed by anyone who has a computer and the public library gives computer access to everyone.” Ahearn said other school districts have expressed interest in adopting the e-mail alert service in recent weeks, if only to save money for education. “Megan’s Law is an unfunded mandate,” she said. “The school districts have been bearing the burden of notifying the community of resident sex offenders without any financial relief from the state.”