Guidance Relating to the Right of Individuals Over Compulsory School Age to Attend High School

This Field Guidance memorandum, issued in May 2016 by Deputy Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green, serves to clarify the right of all individuals, regardless of citizenship, who reside in New York State (NYS) and are between the ages of 5 and 21, to a free public high school education in their school district of residence. 


It is important to note that students over the age of compulsory school attendance (age 16 in New York State), while not required to attend full-time instruction, are entitled to attend a full time high school program (Education Law §3205[1][a]).  However, they may voluntarily choose to instead pursue a high school equivalency diploma earned by passing the General Educational Development (GED) or Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC™).  Districts may not force such individuals to forego a full time high school program to pursue this alternative option, or otherwise steer such individuals toward this alternative option.

FieldGuidance on Enrollment of Students over 16_5.27.16.pdf, 45.47 KB; (Last Modified on August 24, 2016)