Educational Rights Process and Requirements
What is Educational Rights, and Why Do I Need It?
Educational Rights gives the custodial parent/guardian of a student the ability to enroll and withdraw them. It also allows the custodial parent/guardian to receive notices of discipline pursuant to Sections 59-63-230 and 59-63-240 of the State Code of Law, attend conferences with school staff, and grant permission for athletic activities, field trips, and other activities as required.
Who Needs to Apply for Educational Rights?
Anyone who has a school-aged student in their custody and is NOT the biological parent
Adoptive parents must apply for Educational Rights if they have not been issued an updated birth certificate with them listed as the child's parents.
Biological Parent who Married, but Since Divorced, the other Biological Parent:
The custodial parent is to apply and provide the final divorce decree and/or notarized acknowledgment letter from the other parent.
Biological Father NEVER married to the Biological mother:
In the state of South Carolina, when a child is born out of wedlock, the biological father has no legal rights until granted by a family court. Fathers must apply and provide custody documentation.
Biological Mother who has had their Legal Custody Revoked:
These mothers must provide documentation confirming they've regained custody of the student before they can proceed to enroll or withdraw the student.
I am the Biological Father of my Child, but I NEVER Married the Biological Mother; Why Must I Apply for Educational Rights?In the state of South Carolina, when a child is born out of wedlock, the biological father has no legal rights or connection to the child until he establishes legal paternity. The custody of an illegitimate child is solely with the natural mother unless the mother has relinquished her rights to the child and/or a court judge rules otherwise. If paternity has been acknowledged or adjudicated, the father may petition the court for rights of visitation or custody in a proceeding before the court apart from an action to establish paternity.As the biological father, you do have a legal obligation and shared responsibility of ensuring your child has an education, a right to obtain education records, and the ability to participate in school meetings and events without the need to apply for Educational Rights. Our district will be sure to grant you access to your child's records and aid with setting up your Parent Portal account to keep up with their grades and attendance. We also encourage and look forward to your participation in school events as well as Parent-Teacher Conferences.Additional Resources:
How Do I Qualify for Educational Rights?
To qualify for educational rights in Richland One, you must be able to prove you have been awarded legal and/or physical custody through family court, foster care, facility licensed or operated by the Department of Social Services, or the Department of Juvenile Justice. Guardians who have gained physical custody of a child through extraordinary circumstances may provided a SC State Statute Affidavit
What Documents are Acceptable for Proving Legal/ Physical Custody?
Only the following custody documents are acceptable to prove legal/physical custody of a student:
- Court orders signed by a judge or court-appointed personnel
- Out of state court orders must be filed with the Richland County Judicial Center located at 1701 Main Street, Columbia 29201. Only the SC stamped copy will be acceptable for this process.
- Foster Care Placement Letter
- DSS Placement Letter, Safety Plan, Kinship Form
- SC State Statute Affidavit
What is the State Statute Affidavit/Guardianship Affidavit?
The state of South Carolina allows guardians who do not have the ability to provide a court order or agency-placement document, to complete a SC State Statute Affidavit (also known as a Guardianship Affidavit) ONLY IF one of the following circumstances listed applies to the student's legal guardian and why the student is now in their care (proof of circumstances may be required:)
- Death, serious illness, or incarceration
- Failure to provide substantial financial support and parental guidance
- Abuse or neglect
- The physical or mental condition resulting in inadequate care and supervision of the child
- Without a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, or nighttime residence is a shelter or institution that provides temporary living accommodations
- Military deployment or call to active duty more than seventy miles from his residence for a period greater than sixty days
The affidavit is in accordance with the SC Code of Laws; Title 59, Chapter 63, Section 31. The alphabetized circumstances on the affidavit are reasons the state will allow the person who has physical care of a school-aged student to enroll. When none of the reasons listed on the affidavit apply to the circumstance of the custodial parent, a court order must be provided to prove custody. The alphabetized circumstances are as follows (proof of circumstances may be required:)
(a) death, serious illness, or incarceration of a parent or legal guardian;
(b) relinquishment by a parent or legal guardian of the complete control of the child as evidenced by the failure to provide substantial financial support and parental guidance;
(c) abuse or neglect by a parent or legal guardian;
(d) physical or mental condition of a parent or legal guardian is such that he cannot provide adequate care and supervision of the child;
(e) parent's or legal guardian's homelessness, as that term is defined by Public Law 100-77; or
(f) parent's or legal guardian's military deployment or call to active duty more than seventy miles from his residence for a period greater than sixty days; provided, however, that if the child's parent or legal guardian returns from such military deployment or active duty prior to the end of the school year, the child may finish that school year in the school he attends without charge even if the child resides in another school district for the remainder of the school year due to his parent or legal guardian returning home;
Note: The affidavit must be completed and notarized before uploading.
How Do I Apply for Educational Rights?
Visit the Transfer & Educational Rights Portal to complete the Educational Rights Application (you must select Educational Rights as the "Application Type.")
As a part of the application, upload the following REQUIRED documents:
- Government-issued photo ID for guardian (No work IDs)
- Student's birth certificate
- Proof of custody or guardianship (Either of the items listed above)
*BE ADVISED: Completing the educational rights request does NOT guarantee educational rights will be granted.
We have an average processing time of 7-10 business days for transfers & Educational Rights applications. Though some applications are processed faster than others, all are processed in the order received AND ALL required documents are satisfied. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure all required documents are uploaded to the application they're submitting. Incomplete applications WILL NOT BE REVIEWED OR PROCESSED.
Are Educational Rights Permanent?
To be granted permanent educational rights, the custody document provided must grant permanent placement or legal custody. If granted a permanent status, the permission is through the student's graduation from Richland One. Otherwise, educational rights can only be granted on a temporary basis; the permission expires at the end of the school term, and must be renewed by July 1st for the following school year, if the student is to remain in the guardian's care. You will be required to provide a current/most up-to-date custody document as a part of the renewal process. Renewals submitted after July 1st may cause an interruption in the student's education.
How Does Educational Rights Impact School Zoning?
Students must attend the school their guardian's residential address is zoned for. That said, the granting of educational rights often results in a student having to withdraw from their current school and enroll in a different school.
Be advised that the educational rights process is not a means to obtain a transfer to a preferred school. If it is proven that this process was used to obtain enrollment into a specific school, the educational rights will be immediately rescinded and the custodial parent will be required to enroll the student into his or her zoned school.
- Court orders signed by a judge or court-appointed personnel