Columbia Schools Will Publish Resource Guide for Undocumented Parents

Oct 11, 2017

Credit Neighborhood Centers, Inc. / Flickr

A new online resource guide for undocumented parents was discussed at a public meeting of the Columbia Public School Board on Monday.

The document cites a 1982 Supreme Court ruling that ensures all students have a constitutional right to enroll in public school and provides links and phone numbers to local sources of legal aid and family counseling.

Michelle Baumstark, the Community Relations Director for Columbia Public School System, and she says that it’s important to have a document with all of the resources available to families in one place.

“We felt it was important to provide a document with the resources available for families, the process that families go through to enroll children in school, as well as what their rights are in terms of educational rights and their rights under FERPA which is Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act,” Baumstark said.

The meeting also featured calls for the board to adopt a resolution on the status of undocumented children who may be enrolled in the school system.

Darin Preis, President of the Columbia Public School system, responded by pointing to the resource guide as evidence that they were taking this issue seriously.

“We are living what we are being asked to put into a resolution and in my opinion that’s a better position to be in because we’re taking action instead of just talking about it,” Preis said.

The resource guide can be found on the Columbia Public School system’s website.