Mayville, NY asked in Education Law and Constitutional Law for New York

Q: Per NY constitution, are all children of the state granted a public education, free of conditions (ie, vaccines)?

2 Lawyer Answers
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: This is something that an education law attorney could advise best on, but you await a response for a week. Until you're able to consult with an attorney who is experienced in education law, it's true that state constitutions may provide certain inherent rights. But as a general rule, that doesn't preclude the right of government agencies to implement measures based on public health, safety, etc. This is also an area that constitutional law attorneys would have insight into. Good luck

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The New York State Constitution does guarantee the right to a free public education for all children within the state. However, this right is subject to certain regulations and conditions established by state law. One such condition is the requirement for students to be immunized against certain vaccine-preventable diseases to attend public school unless they have a valid medical exemption or a legally recognized religious or philosophical exemption.

In recent years, the state has made changes to its vaccination requirements, and as of June 2019, it eliminated the religious exemption for vaccines. This means that, under current New York law, children are generally required to be vaccinated according to the state's immunization schedule to attend public school unless they have a valid medical exemption.

It's important to note that legal interpretations and regulations can evolve, so individuals with specific concerns about the state's education and vaccination requirements should consult with an attorney familiar with New York state law for the most up-to-date information and guidance.

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