HB 744, the Keep Students Safe Act, has passed out of the Education committee, albeit in a significantly watered-down form. Originally the bill would have required schools to inquire about students’ immigration status. Illegal Immigrants would not have been prevented from registering, in keeping with the Supreme Court ruling in Plyer v. Doe.
Schools would have been required to keep the information for “fiscal analysis.” The bill provoked heavy criticism from the North Carolina Association of Educators and immigration activists, who disliked the immigration provision.
Rep. Folwell (R-Forsyth), the bill’s primary sponsor, removed the immigration provisions from the bill at the committee hearing.
Section 4 of the bill had read:
“When a child first enrolls in or transfers into the public schools of a local school 30 administrative unit, the principal of the school to which the child is assigned shall require the 31 parent to state whether the child is a citizen or a national of the United States, and if the child is 32 not, the immigration status of the child. This information shall be used only for fiscal analysis 33 and shall not be used to deny admission to a child who is a domiciliary of the local school 34 administrative unit.”
Now all that remains of the bill is a requirement that students submit a birth certificate or, alternatively, medical records from the birth or records from a religious institution.
It is unclear whether the bill will remain in its current form once it reaches the House; but as it is now, it does provoke the question: What exactly is the point of this legislation?