Education Law Center’s Advocacy Guide Series

Education Law Center has released a revised and updated guide to New Jersey school residency rights: “Understanding Public School Residency Requirements: A Guide for Advocates.” 

The release is part of a series of ELC “Know Your Rights” guides published to provide comprehensive information and tools for advocates to use in efforts to safeguard and protect the education rights of public school students.     

The updated School Residency Guide contains essential information for parents, caregivers and advocates to analyze and determine the responsibility of New Jersey school districts to provide a free, thorough and efficient education to public school students. The Guide addresses an important and recurring problem in New Jersey, given the state’s hundreds of separate school districts across 21 counties.

The Guide also sets forth the procedural rights of students involved in disputes with school districts over the local district’s obligation to educate students.

School residency issues arise frequently for students who live with someone other than their parents, who have been displaced from their homes, or whose parents don’t live together. In addition to providing the basics about school residency, ELC’s Guide addresses each of these situations.

The Residency Guide incorporates statutory changes made since the last update of the publication in 2005. These include the federal law requirement for educational stability for students in foster care and the state law protection for students whose families are experiencing crisis. The Guide also addresses developments in case law, including many administrative decisions defining family or economic hardship for purposes of school residency law.

“ELC is grateful for attorney Cindy Fine’s phenomenal efforts to assist parents and advocates in understanding how the various residency rules and exceptions logically relate to each other,” said ELC Senior Attorney Elizabeth Athos. “The better the understanding of rules and rights in this area, the less school is missed by students due to misunderstandings and mistakes.”

In addition to School Residency, ELC’s Advocacy Guide Series includes: The Right to Special Education, Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities, Student Discipline Rights and Procedures, Education Rights of Homeless Students, and Education Rights of Children in Foster Care.

The Residency Guide and other publications in ELC’s Advocacy Guide Series can be accessed on ELC’s website, or a printed copy may be obtained by contacting Diane Gayoso at dgayoso@edlawcenter.org or 973-624-1815, ext. 10.

The IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey provides support for ELC’s Advocacy Guide Series.


Press Contact:

Sharon Krengel
Policy and Outreach Director
973-624-1815, x 24

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Press Contact:
Sharon Krengel
Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications
973-624-1815, x240