Parents of English Language Learners

Bill of Rights for Parents of English Language/Multilingual Learners

Did you know that as an English language learner in NYC, you and your child have rights to a fair education? See the chart below for 5 rights NYC must provide for your little learner. On the left side of the chart, you’ll find exactly what is written on the official NYC government website for public schools. On the right side, you’ll find the same rights written, but hopefully in a way that’s a little easier to understand!

Check out Multilingual Learners ( for more information about how NYC serves English language learners.

Original WordsLearner Friendly Version
1. The right for your children to receive a free public education in the school district where you live, regardless of your or your children’s immigration status (e.g., whether your family members are citizens, immigrants, or undocumented) and the language that you or your children speak.

2 . The right to enroll your children in school without being asked to provide information or paperwork which may reveal your or your children’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.

3. The right under federal law to have a qualified interpreter/translator in your preferred language for critical interactions with the school district.

4. The right to have your children in a Bilingual Education (BE) program when there are 15 or more grade-level ELL students in grades K-8 with the same home language in one or two contiguous grades and 20 or more ELL students in high school with the same home language in one grade. If there is not a sufficient number of qualifying students in a school, but there are within its district, the district must provide a BE program.

5. The right to written notice, in English and your preferred language, that your children have been identified as ELLs and will be placed in a    Bilingual Education or English as a New    Language (formerly called English as a Second Language) program. [2]

1. Your children have the right to go to school near your home. (No matter your immigration status or what language you speak)

2. Your children can go to school. The school cannot ask for paperwork about their immigration status. 

3. The law says that you must have someone who can speak your language for important moments with the school district.
District- a part of a city or country, either an official area or one that is known for having a particular characteristic or business

4. Your child can go to school in a bilingual education program (a program of 2 languages). In these programs, 15 or more students must speak the same language. For high school, students must have 20 or more students with the same language. If the school doesn’t have a program like this, the school district must find one for you.

5.The school must write to tell you that your child has been tested as an ELL (English Language Learner) student and that they will be placed in a special class with other ELL students.

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