Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The nonprofit advocacy group the Education Law Center sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Education asking them to investigate enrollment procedures in each of the state's 501 school districts. Staff Attorney for the ELC Maura McInerney says of the 278 school districts who list their enrollment guidelines on the Internet, 162 require more for enrollment than what state law dictates. Often, school districts follow older laws--some mandating the birth certificate as valid proof of age or a social security card for proof of identity--and are unaware that requirements for enrollment are much less. McInerney says the problem is widespread and affects immigrants, foster children, and low-income families the most. A list of schools whose requirements for enrollment exceed the state's will not be made public.