Guides: ELL Laws & Regulations

All children in the United States are entitled to equal access to a basic public elementary and secondary education regardless of their actual or perceived race, color, national origin, citizenship, immigration status, or the status of their parents/guardians. School districts that either prohibit or discourage, or maintain policies that have the effect of prohibiting or discouraging, children from enrolling in schools because they or their parents/guardians are not U.S. citizens or are undocumented may be in violation of Federal law.

This tip sheet includes some examples of acceptable enrollment policies, such as requesting proof of residency in the school district, as well as policies that may not be used by schools to deny enrollment to any child.

This ten-chapter toolkit from the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice features recommendations on how to implement best practices with ELLs. It includes information on topics such as how to write curriculum, communicate with parents, and serve ELLs with disabilities, as well as updates on research. The toolkit is the companion document to the Dear Colleague Letter sent to states earlier this year, which outlines legal obligations to English Learners under civil rights laws.