After seeing school buses on the road the past couple of mornings on my way to work, I started thinking about the nearly 50,000 unaccompanied children who illegally crossed the border over the summer and how they are starting school in the US as well.
Schools across the USA are bracing for as many as 50,000 immigrant children who would start school this fall, most of them unaccompanied by their families.
“We haven’t started school yet, so we are all just holding our breath to see what’s going to come on the first day of school,” says Caroline Woodason, assistant director of school support for Dalton Public Schools in Georgia.
Under federal law, all children are entitled to a free public education, regardless of their immigration status.
It’s nothing new for public schools to serve immigrant students. But Francisco Negron, general counsel for the National School Board Association, says, “One of the challenges here, though, is the large number of unaccompanied minors.”
“This is a whole new wave of immigrant students that are coming without any guardians whatsoever,” Negron says.
Not only are these children showing up without guardians, many of them are showing up with without basic literacy skills- in their own language. For example, Guatemala has a literacy rate barely above 75%. So, now these kids in a foreign country, separated from their parents and now need to learn English when many of them (more than likely) don’t have a basic educational foundation to begin with.
Looking at this from the children’s perspective, most people would consider this a disaster. For conniving politicians and educrats, this is a golden opportunity to soak taxpayers for even more money. Obviously, school districts that have to take in these illegal immigrant children need additional funding for ESL programs, lunch programs etc.
However, this is a gift that will keep on giving for politicians to grandstand and demand additional funding for years to come. Keep this in mind, very soon these 50,000 immigrant children will start taking standardized tests.
Before you say it makes no sense to test these kids, at least in Michigan, they will be tested:
In addition, the Michigan Merit Award Board has approved expanded accommodations for students with limited English proficiency. The expanded accommodations were developed in consultation with districts, schools, and practitioners in the education of children with limited English skills. A district administrator, in consultation with the classroom teacher, usually makes the decision about appropriate accommodations for students with limited English proficiency. Districts with large LEP populations may have a coordinator or specialist at the administrative level assigned this responsibility. In districts with small populations the decision is often the responsibility of the classroom teacher and the district MEAP coordinator. The decision is not whether or not to test a child; it is which accommodation is most appropriate for the child.
Considering many of these children are illiterate in their own language, they will not set the world on fire on standardized tests. I know this sounds harsh, however, you know these immigrant children aren’t Guatemala’s most educated.
Here’s where politicians see a golden opportunity. And when results from standardized testing rolls in and there are additional 50,000 low test scores bending the average down, politicians will begin grandstanding, demand more funding for schools to help improve test scores. And it won’t be just D’s. Republicans aren’t above shilling for more money for education, because very few politicians can withstand the lure of controlling vast sums of money. As pointed out here @ MCT nearly a year ago:
In business, as you rise within a company’s management ranks, the larger the budget (the amount of the companies money) you control. Job titles mean very little compared to the amount of company dollars at your disposal. Among executives, budgets are the great equalizer. Regardless of industry, the measure of a manager / executives importance to his organization is the amount of budget at his command.
It’s an ego thing.
Congress has adopted this philosophy as well. With continual expansion of the Federal budget, most Representatives and Senators work to seize ever larger portions of our national economy expanding members of Congress budgets. This expansion gives members greater power and influence. Once ObamaCare is sufficiently implemented, members of Congress will have trillions of additional dollars at their disposal to spend as they see fit- mostly to ensure he or she remains in office no matter what.
As Mark Twain said “There is no distinctly American criminal class – except Congress.”