Education and Literacy

Department of Education (DOE)

In New York City, everyone between the ages of 5 to 21 who has not received a high school diploma is entitled to attend a public school in the school district in which he or she lives. The student is entitled to attend a public school regardless of the immigration status of the student, parent, or guardian, and regardless of how well he or she speaks English. Reference to a student’s or parent’s immigration status does not appear on any school forms and/or records.

Any student who lives in New York City may attend a public school regardless of when he or she arrived in the U.S. If a student moved to New York City in the middle of the school year, he or she may immediately register for a public school. To register, a student needs to show certain documentation, including proof of residency in the school district and immunizations.

Adult Education

Anyone over age 21 who lives in New York City may register for Adult Education classes with DOE as well.

We Speak NYC

We Speak NYC is an Emmy Award-winning television show created to help immigrant New Yorkers practice English while informing them of the city's resources.

Adult Literacy Program

There are several literacy programs run by the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) for anyone over the age of 16 who is not enrolled or required to be enrolled in school and who cannot speak, read and/or write the English language well enough to participate in education or training programs conducted in English.

Young Adult Literacy Program

DYCD also runs a program for youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who lack the reading, writing and/or math skills needed to enroll in a General Educational Development (GED) Tests Preparation Program.