Guidebook to Public Eduation Rights in NC



We hope this Guidebook will clearly explain rights of public school students and provide practical tips and sample letters and forms in four key areas: school discipline, special education, quality of education, and school enrollment. However, because these areas sometimes overlap, and to make the information more user-friendly, the Guidebook contains three sections based on problems children often encounter:

  • Is the school trying to remove your child from school for more than 10 days?
  • Is your child struggling in school?
  • Are you having problems enrolling your child in school?

Each section is broken down into several Quick Guides, each of which covers a single issue related to the broader question. The Quick Guides explain the specific rights that children have; outline the procedures that exist to advocate for those rights; and contain advice, guidance, and other resources to help advocates effectively argue for the students' rights. Some sections also included contact information for organizations that may be able to help parents or advocates.

The Guidebook was not written expecting that parents and advocates will memorize the information about educational rights and the procedures and strategies they can use to protect those rights. Instead, the Guidebook is intended as a resource to use when a problem arises.

Parents and advocates can turn to the appropriate section of the Guidebook when they encounter a problem and find the Quick Guides that explain what rights are at stake and what process exists to help the student. Then they can turn to other Quick Guides that provide practical advice, tips, and even sample documents to enable them to navigate the process and advocate effectively.

A joint service of :
Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc.
Advocates for Children's Services

With support from:
Action for Children North Carolina
Council for Children's Rights
Disability Rights North Carolina
Duke Law School's Children's Rights Clinic
Exceptional Children's Assistance Center
North Carolina Justice Center
UNC Center for Civil Rights

NOTE: This handbook is meant to be a source of information only - it is not legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for legal advice based on the specific facts of your case.