D.C. charter schools may have barriers to immigrant students

WASHINGTON (AP/WJLA) - The Education Department says two District of Columbia charter schools are being investigated over possible barriers to enrollment by students brought to the United States illegally.

The Obama administration issued guidance Thursday reminding schools that they are obligated to enroll every student regardless of immigration status.

The Education Department said it's received 17 complaints since 2011. Two of those involved district charter schools: Basis DC and Capital City.

Before the list of schools was released late Thursday, D.C. Public Charter School Board spokeswoman Lauren Williams said she was not aware of any complaints involving schools in the system. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the specific schools.

In a statement released on Friday by Crystal Rucker, Capital City Public Charter School responded:

Capital City Public Charter School was misrepresented in a news story released this morning by the Associated Press about schools and the enrollment of undocumented immigrant students.

Capital City Public Charter School serves one of the highest populations of immigrant students and English Language Learners in the District and has never denied admission to a student based on immigrant status. There has never been any complaint or any findings made against Capital City for denying enrollment to students based on immigrant status, and the story falsely claims Capital City is under investigation for enrollment discrimination.

Capital City has always been committed to serving immigrant students and their families. We work hard to remove barriers that are typically faced by immigrant families and to support our students and their families in positive ways, and will continue to do so.