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Old 09-29-2014, 12:12 PM
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Jeanfromfillmore Jeanfromfillmore is offline
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Default Teens who crossed US-Mexico border alone entering schools

What you should notice that is missing is the actual dollar cost of educating these ELL/ESL students. When those facts are added the "We feel that we have moral obligation to serve these students as long as they are in the United States," said Troy Flint, line you see printed in the article becomes less heart moving when you actually see the cost. For an English speaking student whose parents are educated in the USA, even less than a high school education, the cost to educate that student is between $800-$1,200 per month, depending on the state, district and if he or she is a special needs student. But to educate an ELL/ESL student the cost per month is $1,200-over $2,000 per month regardless of the state or district because they are all considered "special needs" students. Realize that is per month and there are 9 school months in one semester. That comes to $10,800-over $20,000 per student per year for these border jumpers. Now multiply that by the thousands that have arrived within the last year. Are you still feeling so "morally obligated"?
Here in my school district where over 80% of the students are "Hispanic/Latino" with about 35-40% in ESL/ELL classes the cost to run the schools runs over $33,000,000 per school year and the school runs a deficit every year. Mind you that this is a small town of only 15,000 people. California spends over $50 Billion each year on education, which is over half of the general fund.
What is really the worst part of this whole mess is that a large portion of those that the schools try to educate end up barely being able to speak conversational English, and can barely read or write at better than a 4th or 5th grade level. Yet for the few ESL/ELL students that do excel (and they are few), the educators hold them up as "examples" of what a great job they've done and tell you that those student are the norm.

Teens who crossed US-Mexico border alone entering schools

FRANKFORD, Del. The group of mostly Spanish-speaking teenage boys with styled spiky hair and high-top sneakers enthusiastically pecks away on hand-held tablets at the G.W. Carver Education Center, pausing to alert the teacher when stumped.

"If you don't know what you're supposed to write on the line, look at my examples, OK?" she tells one of them.

The students are eager but face barriers. Many crossed the U.S. border. Some can barely read or write in their native language.

U.S. schools are now dealing with the fallout from the dramatic spike in the number of children and teenagers who crossed into the United States unaccompanied by family; the Supreme Court has ruled that they have an obligation to educate all students regardless of their immigration status.

The teenagers at the G.W. Education Center ride a school bus, practice food names with the school cafeteria manager and recite the names of body parts in gym class all part of an English immersion newcomers program. The Indian River School District scrambled to develop it after about 70 immigrant students, most from Guatemala, enrolled unexpectedly toward the end of the last school year.

The district's goal is to get them assimilated, and after a semester or more, if necessary, back into a regular high school. There, they can earn a diploma, even if that means participating in adult education programs and going to school until they are 21.

"They just crave it, and they will come and ask questions," said Lori Ott, their English language teacher, after her students cheerfully waved goodbye for the day. "How do you say this? And, how do you say that? They just participate and you can't say enough about them."

Large numbers of these students have moved to metropolitan areas such as Washington, D.C., Miami and Houston, but also to communities of all sizes in nearly every state, according to federal data. That's because most typically go live with a relative or guardian while their case makes its way through the immigration courts system a process that can take years.

In Delaware's Sussex County, the community long has attracted immigrants, partly because of work in chicken factories, and soybean and corn fields. The district's population is more than one-quarter Hispanic, and for years has offered an early learning program for non-English speakers.

Still, officials were caught off guard by the number of new students part of the wave of unaccompanied minors crossing the border enrolling last year, mostly at Sussex Central High School.

Donald Hattier, a school board member, said advance warning would have helped with planning. The federal government, he said, "just dropped this on us." He wonders what's next.

"The kids are still coming across the border. This problem has not been solved," Hattier said.

Educators in Delaware and elsewhere say many of these students, who fled poverty and violence, have yearslong gaps in schooling. For teenagers, learning in English can prove more difficult than for younger students. They also may be living with relatives or others they didn't know, and the workings of an American school can be confusing.

Others experienced trauma, either in their home country or while crossing the border, and may need mental health help.

"It's a new culture and they already feel that they are alone. ... Some of them don't have their parents here," said English language instructor Alina Miron at Broadmoor High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The school has about a dozen of these students enrolled.

In districts such as Miron's, the influx has meant hiring new English language instructors. The Delaware district is creating special classes to more quickly assimilate these students.

Two foundations donated money to the Oakland Unified School District in California to help fund a person to connect about 150 unaccompanied students with legal and social services; many didn't have legal representation at immigration hearings.

"We feel that we have moral obligation to serve these students as long as they are in the United States," said Troy Flint, a district spokesman. "Until their fate is decided, we're responsible for ensuring they get an education and we embrace that opportunity."

In Louisiana, the Broadmoor principal, Shalonda Simoneaux, said attending high school and learning English is a motivating factor for teenagers who want "want to blend in."

"Whatever is being said, whatever is going on, they are really learning more from listening from other teenagers, even more so than from the teachers because it's high school," Simoneaux said.

For cash-strapped districts, providing for these students' needs can be arduous, particularly if they arrive after student headcounts are taken to determine school funding.

In Miami, the school board voted to seek federal help at the urging of Superintendent Alberto Carvalho after 300 foreign-born students, many from Honduras and traveling alone, enrolled toward the end of the last school year.
Margie McHugh, director of the nonprofit Migration Policy Institute's National Center on Immigrant Integration, says it's critical that children given permission to stay in the United States are integrated into American life and are educated.

Indian River School District officials say that's their plan.
"We do have a very open heart and an open mind and any student who comes in our system, we're going to give the most appropriate services
that we can," said the Delaware district's superintendent, Susan Bunting.
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