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The Rights of Immigrant Children in the Public Schools

An Overview

By Roger Rosenthal

As the immigrant population grows, so does the number of immigrant children in the nation's schools. Many school districts have turned away immigrant children, as well as children they perceive to be immigrant, or put up barriers to school attendance. Various legal handles are available to the advocate (e.g., the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Plyler v. Doe, that undocumented children had the right to attend free public school and required the school district, in Lau v. Nichols, to provide English language instruction to students not proficient in English).

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