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Do Children Have a Right to Enroll in School?

All children in the United States have a right to enroll in school regardless of the child’s or parents’ citizenship or immigration status. School districts that prohibit or discourage children from enrolling in school because they or their parents are not US citizens or are undocumented immigrants are in violation of Federal law. For example, school districts may NOT require:

  • a state ID or driver’s license as proof of residency,
  • a birth certificate as proof of age, or
  • social security number for child or parent

Alternative documents may be provided to establish residency and age. Please read more on the rights of children to enroll in school from the US Department of Justice at where you can find a fact sheet, dear colleague letter, and Q and A for states, school districts, parents and community members.

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