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NYCLU: Five local school districts discourage immigrant students

Jul 25, 2010 10:20 am
Chatham, Hudson and New Lebanon school districts in Columbia County, and the Greenville and Windham-Ashland-Jewett school district's in Greene County all have school registration requirements that may be unlawfully barring or discouraging the enrollment of immigrant students, according to a report from the New York Civil Liberties Union. The school districts are asking for information that would reveal a parent or child’s immigration status as a prerequisite for school enrollment. “The Supreme Court ruled 28 years ago that all children have an equal right to a public school education, regardless of their immigration status,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said. “Though some of these school districts undoubtedly seek to exclude immigrant children, many of the offending districts are surely unaware that their registration requirements are discriminatory. What is truly unfortunate is that, since the NYCLU brought this matter to the attention of the State Education Department nearly a year ago, the SED has turned a blind eye to the situation and refused to provide schools the guidance they need on the law and on the United States Constitution.”