Skip to content
Home » News » New York State » Schools told they must enroll migrant students immediately, regardless of residency proof

Schools told they must enroll migrant students immediately, regardless of residency proof

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The New York State Attorney General’s Office and the state Education Department issued a firm directive on Monday, reminding schools of their obligation to enroll all students immediately, irrespective of their ability to confirm residency.


The joint guidance emphasized that all children and youth in New York, aged between 5 and 21, are entitled to a free public education, regardless of immigration status or living conditions. This includes those residing in temporary housing or who are unhoused.

The statement, endorsed by Attorney General Letitia James and Commissioner of Education Betty Rosa, addressed schools’ concerns over the recent surge in migrant families in New York. It clarified that under both state and federal law, migrant students have a right to education.

Schools, while able to request documentation such as proof of residency, cannot deny enrollment based on the lack of specific documents. Instead, they should consider alternate proofs like paystubs or letters from local agencies. Discriminatory enrollment practices, the officials warned, could expose districts to potential lawsuits.