Bill of Rights for Parents of English Language Learners

As the parent or guardian of an English Language Learner, you have the right for your child to receive a free public education in the school district where you live. This is true regardless of your or your child's immigration status or what language you speak. You also have the right to:

  1. Enroll your child in school without being asked to share your or your child’s immigration status. You cannot be asked to provide:
    • a social security card or number
    • an immigration visa or visa status, or
    • citizenship documents or citizenship status.
  2. Have an interpreter or translator help you communicate with your child’s school about your child's education.
  3. Have your child in a bilingual education program when there are 20 or more students in the same grade level that speak the same language.
  4. Be notified in writing in your language (and English) that your child has been identified as an English Language Learner and will be placed in a bilingual education or an English as a New Language program.
  5. A high quality informational meeting, provided by your child’s school, which focuses on New York State standards, tests, and school expectations for English Language Learners. The meeting must also explain the program goals and requirements for bilingual education and English as a New Language. This meeting must take place before your child's final placement in a program, and must be in your language.
  6. Receive information about your children’s English language development, and also about their home language development if they are in a bilingual education program.
  7. Meet with school staff at least once a year to discuss your child’s progress in school. This is in addition to other required meetings with school staff.
  8. Have your child:
    • placed in a bilingual education or English as a New Language program within ten school days of enrollment, or to
    • opt out of a bilingual education program. At a minimum, your child must receive English as a New Language instruction.
  9. For your child to transfer to another school in your district that offers bilingual education in your language, if your child’s original school does not offer it.
  10. For your child to have access to:
    • all programming and services offered in school, including those needed for graduation, and
    • all school programs available to other students.
  11. For your child to receive all core content instruction, and to learn English and other subjects such as reading, language arts, math, science, and social studies at the same academic level as all other children.
  12. For your child to have full access to all school activities (after-school clubs, sports, etc.).
  13. For your child to get the same support services that the school gives to all students.
  14. To have your child tested yearly to check their English language progress, and to get information about your child’s results on tests, including NY State Tests.
  15. To have your child enrolled in a bilingual education or English as a New Language program as long as they are identified as an English Language Learner.
  16. To contact the New York City Department of Education’s Division of English Language Learners and Student Support if any of the above rights have been violated.

Please call the English Language Learner Parent Hotline at 212-323-9559 or email:

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