SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 1
May 7, 1999
|FROM:||Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Verification of Residency and Certain StudentsCitizenship of|
There have been many questions regarding a local school board's authority to ascertain the residency status of students desiring to attend public schools in a particular locality. The attached letter was sent by Attorney General Mark L. Earley in response to questions asked by Senator Bill Mims, of Leesburg, and addresses the following three questions: 1. Can a local school board, in attempting to ascertain whether a student applicant satisfies the residency requirements for attendance in a particular public school, inquire into the citizenship or visa status of that student? 2. If so, is documentation required to verify the student's status? 3. Are students holding visas under certain of the non- immigrant categories prescribed by federal law unable, due to their status, to satisfy Virginia's residency requirements for the purpose of attending public schools free of charge? In response to Senator Mims, Attorney General Earley states in his letter, that a local school board shall accept students who meet the specified criteria under section 22.1-3 of the Code of Virginia, and that local school boards are not permitted to inquire into the student applicant's citizenship or visa status and, therefore, documentation to verify such status is not the legitimate role of the school board. Note, however, that the Attorney General's letter does not address F-1 student visas. Information on the F-1 student visa is found in Superintendent's Memorandum No. 117, INFORMATIONAL, dated July 11, 1997. If you have questions about this memo or the attached letter, you may contact Diane Atkinson, Assistant Superintendent for Policy and Public Affairs at (804) 225-2403. PDS/ci Attachment: A hard copy of this memo and its attach- ment will be sent to the superintendent's office.