Rocky Point School District rethinks enrollment policies
As the Rocky Point School District seeks legal advice to determine if Social Security numbers should remain as a student enrollment requirement, the New York State Education Department is preparing new guidelines that will address student immigration-status issues. This comes after the New York Civil Liberties Union, a nonprofit organization based in Manhattan, released a report showing 20 percent of New York State schools require documentation for student enrollment that would reveal a parent's or child's immigration status. Udi Ofer, advocacy director for the NYCLU, has said proof of age and residency are the only eligibility requirements for student enrollment. He added that districts requiring Social Security numbers are in violation of a 1982 Supreme Court decision, Plyler v. Doe, which found all children are to be given equal access to public education. NYCLU spokeswoman Jennifer Carnig wouldn't confirm whether a lawsuit is in the works, but she did say "all options are on the table" and that there will be follow-up with districts that continue discriminatory practices. Ms. Carnig added that since the report was released late last month, many districts have reached out to NYCLU for policy recommendations. "We're still waiting to see what the state will do," she said. "We still haven't heard from them."