5111- ELIGIBILITY OF RESIDENT/NONRESIDENT PUPILS (M)
Date Created: January, 2010
Date Edited: March, 2016
The Board of Education shall admit to its schools, free of charge, persons over five and under twenty years of age, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1, or such younger or older student as is otherwise entitled by law to a free public education.
Eligibility to Attend School
The Board shall admit students eligible to attend school free of charge that are domiciled within the district as defined in N.J.A.C. 6A:22-3.1.
A child who is domiciled within the school district and resides with a parent or guardian who is a member of the New Jersey National Guard or a member of the reserve component of the armed forces of the United States who is ordered into active military service in a time of war or national emergency shall be permitted to remain enrolled in the school district in which the child is domiciled at the time of the parent or guardian being ordered into active military service, regardless of where the child resides during the period of active duty. Following the return of the child’s parent or guardian from active military service, the child’s eligibility to remain enrolled in the school district pursuant to N.J.S.A. 38-3.1 shall cease at the end of the current school year unless the child is domiciled in the school district.
The Board shall also admit any student that is kept in the home of a person other than the student’s parent or guardian, where the person is domiciled in the school district and is supporting the student without remuneration as if the student were his or her own child in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:22-3.2. A student is only eligible to attend school in the district pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:22-3.2 if the student’s parent or guardian files, together with documentation to support its validity, a sworn statement that he or she is not capable of supporting or providing care for the student due to family or economic hardship and the student is not residing with the other person solely for the purpose of receiving a free public education. In addition, the person keeping the student must file, if so required by the Board of Education, a sworn statement that he or she: is domiciled within the school district; is supporting the child without remuneration and intends to do so for a time longer than the school term; will assume all personal obligations for the student relative to school requirements; and provides a copy of his or her lease if a tenant, a sworn landlord’s statement if residing as a tenant without a written lease, or a mortgage or tax bill if an owner. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1.c, any person who fraudulently allows a child of another person to use his or her residence and is not the primary financial supporter of that child and any person who fraudulently claims to have given up custody of his or her child to a person in another district commits a disorderly persons offense.
A student is eligible to attend school in this school district free of charge pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1.b if the student is kept in the home of a person domiciled in the school district, who is not the parent or guardian and the parent or guardian is a member of the New Jersey National Guard or the reserve component of the United States armed forces and has been ordered into active military service in the United States armed forces in time of war or national emergency. Eligibility under this provision shall cease at the end of the current school year during which the parent or guardian returns from active military duty.
A student is eligible to attend school in this school district free of charge pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1.d if the student’s parent or guardian temporarily resides within the school district and elects to have the student attend the school district of temporary residence, notwithstanding the existence of a domicile elsewhere. When required by the Board of Education, the parent or guardian shall demonstrate the temporary residence is not solely for purposes of a student attending the school district of temporary residence. When one of a student’s parents or guardians temporarily resides in the school district while the other is domiciled or temporarily resides elsewhere, eligibility to attend school shall be determined in accordance with the criteria of N.J.A.C. 6A:22-3.1(a)1.i.
A student is eligible to attend this school district free of charge:
- If the student’s parent or guardian moves to another school district as the result of being homeless, subject to the provisions of N.J.A.C. 6A:17-2 - Education of Homeless Children;
- If the student is placed by court order or by a society, agency, or institution in the home of a school district resident pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:38-2;
- If the student previously resided in the school district and if the parent or guardian is a member of the New Jersey National Guard or the United States reserves and has been ordered to active service in time of war or national emergency, resulting in the relocation of the student out of the school district, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:38-3.b. The school district shall not be obligated for transportation costs; and
- If the student resides on Federal property within the State pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:38-7.7 et seq.
Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1 or any other law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, a student who moves out of the school district as a result of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or other family crises shall be permitted to remain enrolled in the school district for the remainder of the school year in pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1.1 and in accordance with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 6A:22-3.2(h). If the student remains enrolled in the school district for the remainder of the school year, the school district shall provide transportation services to the student, provided the student lives remote from school, and the State shall reimburse the school district for the cost of the transportation services. Nothing in N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1.1 shall be construed to affect the rights of homeless students pursuant to N.J.S.A 18A:7B-12, N.J.S.A. 18A:7B-12.1, or any other applicable State or Federal law.
A student’s eligibility to attend this school shall not be affected by the physical condition of an applicant’s housing or his or her compliance with local housing ordinances or terms of lease.
Except as set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A:22-3.3(b)1, immigration/visa status shall not affect eligibility to attend school and the school district shall not condition enrollment in the school district on immigration status. A student’s immigration/visa status and their eligibility to attend school shall be in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:22-3.3(b) and Regulation 5111.
Proof of Eligibility
The Board of Education shall accept a combination of forms of documentation from persons attempting to demonstrate a student’s eligibility for enrollment in the school district in accordance with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 6A:22-3.4. The Board of Education shall consider the totality of information and documentation offered by an applicant, and shall not deny enrollment based on failure to provide a particular form or subset of documents without regard to other evidence presented.
The Board of Education shall not condition enrollment on the receipt of information or documents protected from disclosure by law, or pertaining to criteria that are not a legitimate basis for determining eligibility to attend school as outlined in N.J.A.C. 6A:22-3.4(d). The Board of Education may consider, in a manner consistent with Federal law, documents or information referenced in N.J.A.C. 6A:22-3.4(d) or pertinent parts thereof if voluntarily disclosed by the applicant. The Board of Education may not, directly or indirectly, require or request such disclosure as an actual or implied condition of enrollment. However, in the case of a dispute between the school district and the parent or guardian of a student in regard to the student’s eligibility to enroll in the school district or to remain enrolled in the school district pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1, the school district may request from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission the parent or guardian’s name and address for use in verifying a student’s eligibility for enrollment in the school district.
Registration Forms and Procedures for Initial Assessment
Registration and initial determinations of eligibility will be in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:22-4.1. The Board of Education shall use Commissioner-provided registration forms or locally developed forms that are consistent with the forms provided by the Commissioner. A district-level administrator designated by the Superintendent shall be clearly identified to applicants and available to assist persons who experience difficulties with the enrollment process.
Initial eligibility determinations shall be made upon presentation of an enrollment application, and enrollment shall take place immediately except in cases of clear, uncontested denials. Enrollment shall take place immediately when an applicant has provided incomplete, unclear, or questionable information, but the applicant shall be notified that the student will be removed from the school district if defects in the application are not corrected, or an appeal is not filed, in accordance with subsequent notice to be provided pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:22-4.2.
When a student appears ineligible based on the information provided in the initial application, the school district shall issue a preliminary written notice of ineligibility, including an explanation of the right to appeal to the Commissioner of Education. Enrollment shall take place immediately if the applicant clearly indicates disagreement with the district’s determination and an intent to appeal to the Commissioner of Education. An applicant whose student is enrolled pursuant to this provision shall be notified that the student will be removed, without a hearing before the Board, if no appeal is filed within the twenty-one day period established by N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1.
When enrollment is denied and no intent to appeal is indicated, applicants shall be advised they shall comply with compulsory education laws. When the student is between the ages of six and sixteen, applicants also shall be asked to complete a written statement indicating the student will be attending school in another school district or nonpublic school, or receiving instruction elsewhere than at a school pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:38-25. In the absence of this written statement, designated staff shall report to the school district of actual domicile or residence, or the Department of Children and Families, a potential instance of “neglect” for the purposes of ensuring compliance with compulsory education law, N.J.S.A. 9:6-1. Staff shall provide the school district or the Department of Children and Families with the student’s name, the name(s) of the parent/guardian/resident, and the student’s address to the extent known. Staff shall also indicate admission to the school district has been denied based on residency or domicile, and there is no evidence of intent to arrange for the child to attend school or receive instruction elsewhere.
Enrollment or attendance at the school shall not be conditioned on advance payment of tuition when enrollment is denied and an intent to appeal is indicated, or when enrollment is provisional and subject to further review or information. The Board of Education shall ensure the registration process identifies information suggesting an applicant may be homeless so procedures may be implemented in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:17-2, Education of Homeless Children. Enrollment or attendance in the school district shall not be denied based upon the absence of the certified copy of the student’s birth certificate or other proof of a student’s identity as required within thirty days of initial enrollment, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:36-25.1.
Enrollment in the school district shall not be denied based upon absence of student medical information. However, actual attendance at school may be deferred until the student complies with student immunization rules set forth in N.J.A.C. 8:57-4.
When enrollment in the school district, attendance at school, or the receipt of educational services in the regular education program appears inappropriate, the student shall not be denied based upon the absence of a student’s prior educational record. However, the applicant shall be advised the student’s initial educational placement may be subject to revision upon the school district’s receipt of records or further assessment of the student.
Notice of Ineligibility
When a student is found ineligible to attend the school district pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:22 or the student’s initial application is found to be deficient upon subsequent review or investigation, the school district immediately shall provide to the applicant notice that is consistent with Commissioner-provided sample form(s) and meets requirements of N.J.A.C. 6A:22-4 et seq. Notices shall be in writing; in English and in the native language of the applicant; issued by the Superintendent; and directed to the address at which the applicant claims to reside. Notices of ineligibility shall include information as outlined in N.J.A.C. 6A:22-4.2.
Removal of Currently Enrolled Students
Nothing in N.J.A.C. 6A:22 et seq. and this Policy shall preclude the Board of Education from identifying through further investigation or periodic requests for revalidation of eligibility, students enrolled in the school district who may be ineligible for continued attendance due to error in initial assessment, changed circumstances, or newly discovered information.
When a student who is enrolled and attending school based on an initial eligibility determination is later determined to be ineligible for continued attendance, the Superintendent may apply to the Board of Education for the student’s removal in accordance with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 6A:22-4.3. No student shall be removed from school unless the parent, guardian, adult student, or resident keeping an "affidavit student" (as defined in N.J.A.C. 6A:22-1.2) has been informed of his or her entitlement to a hearing before the Board of Education. Once the hearing is held, or if the parent, guardian, adult student or resident keeping an "affidavit student", does not respond within the designated time frame to the Superintendent’s notice or appear for the hearing, the Board of Education shall make a prompt determination of the student’s eligibility and shall immediately provide notice in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:22-4.2. Hearings required pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:22-4.3 may be conducted by the full Board or a Board Committee, at the discretion of the full Board. If the hearing(s) is conducted by a Board Committee, the Committee shall make a recommendation to the full Board for action. No student may be removed except by vote of the Board taken at a meeting duly convened and conducted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq., the Open Public Meetings Act.
Appeal to the Commissioner
An applicant may appeal to the Commissioner of Education the school district’s determination that a student is ineligible to attend its schools. Appeals shall be initiated by petition which shall be filed in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1 and N.J.A.C. 6A:3-8.1 and shall proceed as a contested case pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:3. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1.b(1), appeals of "affidavit student" eligibility determinations shall be filed by the resident keeping the student.
Assessment and Calculation of Tuition
If no appeal to the Commissioner is filed following notice of an ineligibility determination, the Board of Education may assess tuition, for up to one year of a student’s ineligible attendance, including the twenty-one day period provided by N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1 for appeal to the Commissioner. Tuition will be assessed and calculated in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:22-6.3 et seq. If the responsible party does not pay the tuition assessment, the Board of Education may petition the Commissioner pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:3 for an order assessing tuition, enforceable in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 through recording, upon request of the Board of Education pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:3-12, on the judgment docket of the Superior Court, Law Division.
If an appeal to the Commissioner is filed and the petitioner does not sustain the burden of demonstrating the student’s right to attend the school district, or the petitioner withdraws the appeal, fails to prosecute, or abandons the appeal by any means other than settlement agreeing to waive or reduce tuition, the Commissioner may assess tuition in accordance with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 6A:22-6.2(a). Upon the Commissioner’s finding that an appeal has been abandoned, the Board of Education may remove the student from school and seek tuition in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:22-6.2.
The admission of a nonresident student to school free of charge must be approved by the Board. No student otherwise eligible shall be denied admission on the basis of the student’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectational or sexual orientation or sex, social or economic status, or disability. The continued enrollment of any nonresident student shall be contingent upon the student’s maintenance of good standards of citizenship and discipline.
N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1 et seq.; 18A:38-3; 18A:38-3.1
N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.3; 6A:17-2.1 et seq.; 6A:22-1.1 et seq.
Adopted: 2016, March 17