Public Education and Student Immigration Law - Winter, 2007

I. Introduction
In the wake of September 11, 2001, school districts across the nation are struggling with the fallout from the highly charged national debate on the issue of immigration reform.

II. Schools and Illegal Aliens - (i.e., Students whose Documented Status is Unknown)
In 1982, in Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that states and school districts could not deny education to illegal alien children residing within their borders.

An Overview of the Plyler Decision
In Plyler, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas statute which required children of illegal immigrants to pay tuition in order to receive a public school education, deeming the statute to be a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

School Compliance with the Plyler Standard and FERPA
As a result of the Plyler decision, illegal alien students have been afforded heightened protection, and local school districts have been encouraged to change their record-keeping policies to protect their undocumented status.

III. Schools and Legal Aliens - (i.e., Students Whose Documented Status is Known)
Currently, the Plyler decision stands as good law and prohibits the exclusion of illegal alien children from public schools; but, somewhat ironically, it does not expressly prohibit the exclusion of legal aliens from public schools.

If you have any questions regarding this client advisory, please contact the attorney assigned to your account.

This alert is for informational purposes only and may be considered advertising. It does not constitute the rendering of legal, tax or professional advice or services. You should seek specific detailed legal advice prior to taking any definitive actions. © 2007 MHTL

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