The Right to Learn: Access to Public Education for Non-Status Immigrants

The_Right_to_Learn.jpgAccess to public education for children and youth in Ontario, regardless of immigration status, is both a right and a requirement under provincial law. Yet many non-status families with school-aged children and youth have experienced difficulties with and expressed deep concerns about accessing the public education system in Toronto. Many are unaware of their child’s right to an education, or are reluctant to exercise that right for fear of being reported to police or immigration officials. While educators, school administrators, trustees, community legal workers, lawyers, services providers, advocates and affected students and their families are aware of some of the problems with access to public schools, to our knowledge no studies have documented these barriers or the first-hand experiences of non-status families accessing public education in Toronto or elsewhere in Canada.

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