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Comments on NYSED Proposed Amendments Relating to Student Enrollment

February 26, 2015


Empire Justice Center, as a member of the Long Island Immigrant Children’s Education Project and the Long Island Language Advocates Coalition, signed on to comments in support of a proposed amendment to State Education regulations. 

This amendment would ensure that school districts permit students to enroll in and attend school even if they don’t have adequate documentation of their identity, residency or immunizations at the time they register.  It also clarifies the types of documents and other information that a school district may require of families to prove residency.

Empire Justice Center strongly supports the New York State Education Department’s effort to protect the rights of new immigrant children to attend school, and believes that this amendment will aid that objective. 

Our comments include suggestions for further strengthening the regulation to provide more clarity about the restrictions on local requirements and the mandate to allow students to start school immediately. 

In addition, we propose a new subsection to the regulation requiring school districts to provide information about residency and appeal rights in the languages most frequently used by its local limited English proficient (LEP) population.  We believe that this addition is necessary to the effective enforcement of the amendment, as many of the  families currently facing difficulty in enrolling their children in school do not speak or read English, and will not understand the amendment’s mandates or their right to appeal a denial unless they have access to the information in their primary language.

Click here to read the comments.