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Monday, January 27, 2020

NY school districts to remove citizenship inquiries from enrollment forms

By Mark Payne | Feb 20, 2015

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman | New York Attorney General's Office

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reached a deal with 20 school districts in the state this week to ensure undocumented students receive a proper education. 

As part of the deal, the districts will remove all mention of a student's or their parents' immigration status from enrollment materials.  

“Schoolhouse doors must be open to all students in our diverse state, regardless of their immigration status,” Schneiderman said. “More than 30 years after the Supreme Court guaranteed a free public education for undocumented children, we must do everything we can to uphold the law and ensure equal access for all our students.”

The agreement comes after the New York State Education Department looked at the enrollment procedure for unaccompanied and undocumented students in the state. 

"For years districts across New York have erected barriers, impeding access to an education for children based on immigration status,”  Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said. “The agreements achieved by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Civil Rights Bureau stand as an important step in dismantling those long-standing barriers helping to ensure that immigrant children can make their right to a public education a reality."

The districts include the Amherst, Carthage, Cheektowaga, Cuba Rushford, Dryden, Gates Chili, Greenville, Hilton, Homer, Lyme, Manchester-Shortsville, Penfield, Pittsford, Spencerport, Sullivan West, Vestal, and Williamson Central School Districts; and the Oneida, Port Jervis, and Watertown City School Districts.

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