E-Alerts & Press Releases

New Maryland Regulations Require Simplified and Uniform Process to Enroll Children in School

The PJC is very pleased to announce that after long advocacy in the regulatory arena, the Maryland State Department of Education has issued fantastic final regulations that will, for the first time, greatly simplify enrollment requirements for children who are in state-supervised care and have had to change schools. They will no longer have to produce a multitude of documents, which they typically do not have available, to gain access to school. Once basic information is provided to the school, the school must ensure that the child is enrolled immediately and, in any event, no later than 2 days. The regulations also make the enrollment process uniform across all 24 local school districts. Previously, foster parents and case workers struggled to meet enrollment requirements because they differed widely from school district to school district. Finally, the regulations will ensure that schools and social services agencies establish communication and problem-solving mechanisms across the 2 systems. The initial draft of these regulations was quite unsatisfactory, but PJC Attorneys Laurie Norris and Wendy Hess facilitated a collaboration with other children’s advocates and the state and local agencies involved to revise and significantly improve the regulations. This is an important example of effective legal advocacy to break down bureaucratic barriers to education for Maryland’s vulnerable children.

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