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Graham Commends Suspension of Child Proof of Citizenship
DC Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward One) today commended the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) for suspending action on a requirement that public school parents seeking financial assistance for after school programs provide proof of their child’s US citizenship.
Following objection by CM Graham and others, DCPS yesterday instructed its after school team and coordinators to suspend the citizenship requirement until the general counsels from both DCPS and OSSE have reached a final resolution.
“This is of great disadvantage to students whose parents are unable to provide evidence of a child’s citizenship, many of whom are in the most need of these after school enrichment programs. And it will hit especially hard right here in Ward One because this is the most ethnically diverse of any ward,” said Graham.
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) had previously announced its intention to require this citizenship proof because of federal funding received for "out of school time”.
“Never before has something like this been required of our parents and it seems an entirely inappropriate extension of federal authority,” said Graham.
Councilmember Graham fears OSSE’s proof of citizenship requirement will set a dangerous precedent.
“This action will discriminate against families who are undocumented and create inequitable access to important after school enrichment programs.”