December 22, 2014 Revision to the Regulations of the Commissioner Regarding Student Residency Procedures
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
The Board of Regents has adopted an emergency rule (“the Rule”) significantly amending Section 100.2(y) of the Regulations of the Commissioner with regard to student residency procedures. The rationale supporting this emergency action is to protect the constitutional rights of unaccompanied minors and undocumented youths to a free public education. The amendments, however, apply to all residency determinations. The Rule is effective on December 16, 2014 for a 90-day period, but is expected to be presented for permanent adoption at the March 2015 Regents meeting following a public comment period.
The amendments provide for the following significant changes:
- Students must begin attendance on the next school day or as soon as practicable following a request for enrollment.
- Within three business days of this initial enrollment, the board of education or its designee must review all documentation submitted by the parent(s), the person(s) in parental relation to the child, or the child and make a residency determination in accordance with newly established procedural requirements.
- The revised regulation provides specific guidance on enrollment criteria including acceptable proof of residency, age and guardianship.
- Each school district is required to make publicly available (and post on its website) its enrollment forms, procedures, instructions and requirements for determinations of student residency and age, including a non-exhaustive list of documentation that may be submitted to the school district for residency determinations. By no later than January 31, 2015, this information must also be included in the school district’s existing enrollment/registration materials and be provided to all parents, persons in parental relation or children requesting enrollment. A model statement incorporating the required non-exhaustive list of acceptable forms of documentation is attached.
The regulation makes it clear that school districts are precluded from requesting a Social Security Card, Social Security Number or any information regarding or that would tend to reveal the immigration status of the child or the person(s) requesting enrollment. An exception is provided to enable participating school districts to comply with the recordkeeping and reporting requirements of the Federal Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) in grades 9-12.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the new student residency procedures or would like assistance complying with the Rule.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
© Lamb & Barnosky, LLP 2014