This week, the Illinois State Board of Education released its annual non-regulatory guidance on school registration. As in past years, the 2012-2013 Registration Guidance addresses the main issues that school districts face when registering students for the new school year: residency and enrollment, immigrant students, homeless students, and school fees and waivers.

Almost identical to last year’s guidance, the 2012-2013 guidance responds to some of school districts’ frequently asked questions regarding residency and registration. For example, the guidance reminds districts that they cannot require parents or adult caretakers to provide a social security number, or a government document which requires a social security number, when enrolling their child in school.  The guidance also reminds districts that the residence of a person who has legal custody of a student is deemed to be the residence of the student. It details the meaning of “legal custody” for the purposes of determining residency, and cautions that legal custody for residency and enrollment purposes does not mean guardianship. Thus, an adult caretaker may have legal custody of a student for student residency purposes without having legal guardianship over that student. The guidance also includes information on the FY 2013 federal income eligibility guidelines to which districts can refer when determining students’ eligibility for school fee waivers.

The 2012-2013 ISBE guidance may serve as a useful reference tool for school officials as you complete the student registration process for the upcoming school year. As always, Franczek Radelet Education attorneys are also available to answer your student registration questions and assist with challenging enrollment issues.