AALDEF commends new federal guidance on equal access to public schools

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) commends the joint guidance released today by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education to state and local school districts, emphasizing their universal obligation to provide all children with equal access to elementary and secondary public education. Rooted in the principles of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Plyler v. Doe, the "Dear Colleague Letter" and accompanying fact sheets pinpoint obstructive practices that illegally exclude minority and immigrant students in the enrollment process.

In working with Limited English Proficient (LEP) students and their families, AALDEF and its community-based partners frequently identify issues in student enrollment that implicate discriminatory practices against immigrant students and their families, including invasive checks on immigration status. School districts must ensure that local policies reflect compliance with federal law as articulated in this new guidance, train staff to implement those policies, and be held accountable by federal authorities for discriminatory practices that deny immigrant students and families equal access to public education.

"LEP students and parents can be especially vulnerable to aggressive requests for sensitive information, like immigration status," said AALDEF Staff Attorney Thomas L. Mariadason. "This guidance makes it clear such requests and other exclusionary tactics aimed at immigrant and minority students are intolerable. Every child in this country--regardless of race or status--should have access to public education."

* * *
For more information, contact:
Thomas A. Mariadason
Staff Attorney, Educational Equity Program
212.966.5932
tmariadason@aaldef.org


11.7.18

Preliminary results of AALDEF exit poll of more than 7,600 Asian American voters in midterm elections

11.6.18

AALDEF to conduct Asian American Exit Poll and monitor poll sites in 14 states

10.30.18

AALDEF criticizes Trump's intention to end birthright citizenship by executive order

10.29.18

AALDEF stands in solidarity with Pittsburgh and Louisville

10.6.18

Volunteers needed for AALDEF Asian American Exit Poll and to monitor polling places in 2018 elections

9.28.18

AALDEF denounces White House plan to redefine "public charge" for immigrants seeking green cards

9.10.18

Sept. 12: AALDEF legal director Ken Kimerling receives 2018 New York County Lawyers Association Public Service Award

8.30.18

35 Asian American groups and higher ed faculty file amicus brief in support of race-conscious admissions at Harvard

7.10.18

AALDEF statement on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court

6.26.18

AALDEF deplores the Supreme Court's decision upholding the Muslim ban

4.23.18

Korean and Latino workers at Kum Gang San restaurants win enforcement of $2.7 million wage theft judgment

3.27.18

AALDEF opposes Trump administration's politicization of Census 2020 by adding citizenship question

12.4.17

2017 AALDEF exit poll: 2,538 Asian American voters polled in 4 states: VA, NJ, NY, MA

8.23.17

Federal appeals court upholds ruling in AALDEF case that Texas election law violates Voting Rights Act