Public schools must serve all children including undocumented students.
Under federal law, state and local educational agencies are required to provide all children with equal access to public education at the elementary and secondary level.
This alert from Intercultural Development Research Association is a reminder that public schools, by law, must serve all children. The education of undocumented students is guaranteed by the Plyler vs. Doe decision, and certain procedures must be followed when registering immigrant children in school to avoid violation of their civil rights.
As a result of the Plyler ruling, public schools may not:
• deny admission to a student during initial enrollment or at any other time on the basis of undocumented status;
• treat a student differently to determine residency;
• engage in any practices to “chill” the right of access to school;
• require students or parents to disclose or document their immigration status;
• make inquiries of students or parents intended to expose their undocumented status; or
• require social security numbers from all students, as this may expose undocumented status