Ala. (WHNT) – It’s that time of year, when parents are enrolling their kids for the upcoming school year.
However, the forms this year may look different than last year’s forms.
The Southern Poverty Law Center said in May, it found 96 Alabama school systems violating federal enrollment practices, denying or discouraging enrollment for immigrant children.
In response the Alabama Department of Education has issued a new standardized enrollment form to prevent discrimination against children based on their immigration status or that of their parents. The department also issued a memorandum reminding school districts of their obligations under federal laws.
Keith Ward with Huntsville City Schools said it’s something they’ve already addressed.
“During the 2013-2014 school year, it was not required of anyone to submit a social security number. It was voluntary.”
That’s the change the State School Board is mandating on this year’s enrollment forms.
Social Security Numbers cannot be a requirement to enroll a child in an Alabama school.
Ward said to avoid the issue, it’s taken off this year’s forms completely. A birth certificate is requested for enrollment, but not required. It’s a way to ensure every child, regardless of their immigration status of country of birth, can attend state public schools.
“We want to be able to educate every student. It’s our job as educators to be able to have every one in and give them a quality education,” said Ward.
Huntsville City School’s enrollment forms are all online this year. If parents don’t have access to the web, any school will help with enrollment. Here’s a link to where those forms can be found.
The newly implemented statewide forms went into affect July 1. 2014.
For a detailed outline form SPLC, click here.