school n ews California Advocacy, 2 Learning, 4-5 February 2017 Vol. 23, #2 What’s I nside » Transportation COLA bill; 2017 CSBA-sponsored legislation Leadership, 3 » Vantage Point: Storm relief needed for pension increase crisis » Online accountability dashboard unveiled » Share your skills at AEC 2017 Creating a ‘safe haven’ for students in uncertain times New federal executive orders on immigration have alarmed families and many school districts have expressed concern about the potential impact on California’s students. Although the situation is fluid, school board trustees should keep a few facts in mind: » The United States Supreme Court ruled in Plyler v. Doe that public schools cannot deny students an education based on immigration status. » Public schools cannot inquire about a student’s immigration status as part of the process to establish residency. » Immigration and Customs Enforcement has traditionally abided by its policy to avoid sensitive locations such as schools except in emergencies, but it’s not clear if this will continue. » “Sanctuary” or “safe haven” resolutions are good tools for communicating your district’s values, rights and responsibili-ties where undocumented students are concerned. They do not provide immunity, legal or otherwise, from ICE activity. “In the wake of immigration-related executive orders, it is important that direc-tors recognize and uphold the responsibility of school districts to serve all students,” said CSBA CEO and Executive Director Vernon M. Billy. “Families that fear immigration enforcement may keep their children home from school, interfering with the student’s ability to learn. School board members can help mitigate this through a clear statement of values and intent, such as those outlined in CSBA’s legal guid-ance, sample resolution and sample policies.” CSBA’s legal guidance is informed by the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Plyler v. Doe , 457 U.S. 202 (1982). In Plyler, the Court ruled that, under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, if a state provides a free public education to U.S. citizens, it cannot deny such an education to undocumented children. The court found that to deny students a basic education because of their immigration status was to deny them “the ability to live within the structure of our civic institutions, and foreclose any realistic possibility that they will contribute in even the smallest way to the progress of our Nation.” Although schools owe the same duty to all students, families concerned about immigration enforcement by the federal government may, unfortunately, act on these concerns and keep their children home from school. If this occurs, students’ ability to learn will be shortchanged. Public schools may not ask for a student’s immigration status to establish residency or deny enrollment due to lack of documen-tation, such as social security numbers or birth certificates. Immigration and Customs Enforcement currently has a policy in place to avoid immigration enforcement at “sensitive” continued on page 5 » New report highlights how science instruction can increase English learner achievement Onthe W eb csba.org/Newsroom: » Visit www.csba.org/Newsroom for links to digital versions of current and past issues of California School News.