From the Commissioner's Memo to Friends of Education
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Undocumented immigrant children, like all U.S. citizen children, have the right to attend school full-time as long as they meet the age and residency requirements established by state law. In a 1982 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that children who are undocumented immigrants cannot be denied a free public education if they are, as a factual matter, district residents (Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202; see Appeal of Plata, 40 Ed Dept Rep 552, Decision No. 14,555).
RIDE does not collect or possess information related to the citizenship status of any Rhode Island student. If RIDE were to receive a request for information related to student documentation status, we would treat that request consistent with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which includes strong protections for the security and privacy of all education records. FERPA allows for the transfer of education records only to authorized parties with a “legitimate educational interest.”
In the meantime, let’s continue to build communities of teaching, learning, and love for each of our children in all of our schools.