Feds Give Texas Schools Guidelines for Educating Unaccompanied Minors
HOUSTON, Texas -- While Texas public schools still have not been told how many Central American unaccompanied minors to expect this fall, some guidelines have finally been communicated for accommodating the minors. Earlier this week a fact sheet was given out to school administrators by Texas education commissioner Michael Williams.
The Department of Education fact sheet said, "All children in the United States are entitled to equal access to a public elementary and secondary education, regardless of their or their parents’ actual or perceived national origin, citizenship, or immigration status. This includes recently arrived unaccompanied children, who are in immigration proceedings while residing in local communities with a parent, family member, or other appropriate adult sponsor."
The fact sheet further pointed out that school districts do not have the right to deny illegal immigrant minors an education. In fact, as Breitbart Texas previously reported, social security numbers or birth certificates are not requirements for students to enroll.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Williams told Texas school districts that the federal sheet shared the sentiment of David Anderson--general counsel for the Texas Education Agency--who spoke at a select committee hearing several weeks ago.
Anderson stressed that schools districts in Texas haven't been told how many unaccompanied minors to expect come September.
"Right now, the state pays about $7,900 per student to districts," he pointed out at the hearing. "These [foreign children] would come with certain needs, like free or reduced lunch qualification as well as bilingual or special needs, so we estimate about $9,500 per student to be paid to the districts for those students. ... You’re looking at more educators that are typically your hardest to hire. Bilingual teachers, counselors and, even more rare, bilingual special education teachers."
It's nearly impossible to make proper accommodations if administrators are not told which school districts the minors will be put in.
Breitbart Texas spoke with a spokeswoman from the TEA, who confirmed that school districts have no clue how many foreign students to expect. She said, "We just don't know at this point whether to expect the children to enroll or not. It's hard to plan. We keep hoping for some more definitive information, but we just don't have it at this point."
She said that if a particular school district receives a large number of unaccompanied minors, taxpayers would be forced to fund special bilingual classes. Extra special education teachers and counselors would likely be necessary, as well.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.