(Washington, D.C.) The Obama administration on Thursday reminded public schools across the country they must enroll every student, including those in the country illegally.
The reminder came from Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan and cited a 1982 Supreme Court decision that said schools must allow everyone to enroll, even if they or their parents aren’t U.S. citizens.
“The Justice Department will do everything it can to make sure schools meet this obligation,” said Holder.
The guidance says schools can request phone and water bills as proof of residency in the district.
Students cannot deny enrollment because a student has no birth certificate, or has only a non-U.S. birth certificate.
If schools choose to ask for a Social Security number, it must tell the family that supplying that number is voluntary.
“The message here is clear: let all children who live in your district enroll in your public schools,” said Duncan.