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Students and Parents’/Guardians’ Rights

Sound Basic Education
Every child has the right to an opportunity to receive a sound basic education. A sound basic education is one that provides a student with:

  • the ability to read, write, and speak English;
  • sufficient knowledge of math and science in order to function in a complex and changing society;
  • sufficient knowledge of geography, history, and basic economic and political systems to enable
    the student to make informed choices that affect the student personally or affect the student’s
    community, state, and nation;
  • sufficient academic and work skills to enable the student to successfully go on to college or
    vocational school after graduation;
  • sufficient academic and work skills to allow the student to compete for further education or
  • a competent, certified, well-trained teacher;
  • a well-trained, competent principal; and
  • a school that has enough resources to support an effective instructional program.

A student has the right to enroll in a public school if s/he:

  • is between the ages of five and 21;
  • tries to enroll during the first 120 days of a school year;
  • lives with a parent or legal guardian in that school’s school district;
  • is not currently suspended or expelled from that school or another public school; and
  • has not been convicted of a felony in adult criminal court.

Though local school districts may ask for additional information, they MUST enroll the student while waiting to receive the information.

Students Who Have Been Suspended, Expelled, or Convicted of a Felony
School districts can choose to enroll students who are suspended or expelled from another school district and students who have been convicted of a felony in adult criminal court. A student who has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) MUST receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE), even if the student is suspended or expelled from another school district or has been convicted of a felony. See below for more information about IEPs and FAPE.

Learn more: Handbook for parents, guardians, and students in NC public schools