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CSBA issues legal guidance for educating undocumented students and declaring “safe haven” school districts


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (February 26, 2017) The rights and responsibilities of school districts that educate undocumented students have received renewed attention due to recent developments at the federal level. This has caused many districts to question how they can best uphold their obligation to serve all students, regardless of immigration status.

In response, CSBA has developed a new legal guidance, a pair of sample policies and a sample resolution addressing the right of undocumented students to an education, as well as the “safe haven” or “sanctuary” designation that has been adopted by some districts.

"California’s public schools have a unique mission to help all students succeed in college, career and civic life," said CSBA General Counsel and Director of the Education Legal Alliance Keith J. Bray. "This responsibility is reinforced, in a legal context, by the landmark Supreme Court decision in Plyler v. Doe. In that ruling, the Court held that school districts must not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin, and that students not be barred from enrolling in schools on the basis of their immigration status or that of their parents," continued Bray.

As this topic continues to be discussed, CSBA will continue to provide resources and guidance on this critical issue. For more information, please contact CSBA Sr. Director of Communications/PIO Troy Flint at


CSBA is a nonprofit association representing nearly 1,000 PreK-12 school districts
and county offices of education throughout California.