• According to the Law: Can a School Deny my Child Enrollment?

    The Education Act of 1982 provides the answers.
    by Atty. Cecilia L. Real .
  • chequeQ : "Hi Atty. real, is it right for a school to deny my child admission this schoolyear because I failed to fully pay his tuition last year? I tried talking to the Principal and told her that I am willing to execute a promissory note and pay before the end of this year. As a single parent, money can often be a challenge, and I have yet to get support from my son’s father. Now, since we were not allowed to enroll there, I am forced to transfer him to the public school, which unfortunately also requires me to present his report card which the other school would not release until I have fully paid last year’s accountabilities. What should I do?" – Desperate Mom

    A:
    Dear Desperate Mom,

    Don’t despair; at least this early you learned that your son’s former school is not a good place for him to learn the subject of “life.”

    For humanitarian reasons, whether or not you have paid your full accountability last year should not be a reason to deny your son enrollment in that school, especially since you said you were willing to make a promissory Note.

    Private schools, however, do have the right to exact tuition and realize payments thereof. They also have the right to set the standards of who could or could not enroll in their schools.

    Nevertheless, this should not bother you. On the issue of release of card, you can seek help from the Department of Education who can ensure that the rights of your son are protected, especially Section 9 of the Education Act of 1982 which provides:
     

    Right of Students in School - In addition to other rights, and subject to the limitation prescribed by law and regulations, and student and pupils in all schools shall enjoy the following rights:
    4. The right of access to his own school records, the confidentiality of which the school shall maintain and preserve.
    5. The right to the issuance of official certificates, diplomas, transcript of records, grades, transfer credentials and other similar documents within thirty days from request.

    Additionally, it would not harm you if you go and talk to the President of the Board of that School and present your case. They represent the educational community and therefore should be able to give you concrete steps on how they can help a single parent like you develop and promote the welfare of a child.

    Good luck!

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    Photo from sxc.hu

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