The U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to districts around the country Friday, reminding them that all students–legal or not–are entitled to a public education, the Associated Press reports. The letter comes amid reports that schools may be checking the immigration status of students trying to enroll, and reminds districts they are federally prohibited from barring elementary or secondary students on the basis of citizenship status.

“Moreover, districts may not request information with the purpose or result of denying access to public schools on the basis of race, color or national origin,” said the letter, which was signed by officials from the department’s Office of Civil Rights and the Department of Justice…

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staff and wire services reports