The Elephant in the Classroom

Article subtitle: 
Mass Immigration’s Impact on Public Education
Article CAIRCO note: 
Colorado state taxpayers are spending $1.2 Billion dollars a year for education of immigrants.
Article author: 
Marc Ferris and Spencer Raley
Article publisher: 
FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform
Article date: 
15 September 2016
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

Public school districts across the United States are suffering under a massive unfunded mandate imposed by the federal government: the requirement to educate millions of illegal aliens, the school age children of illegal aliens, refugees and legal immigrant students. FAIR estimates that it currently costs public schools $59.8 billion to serve this burgeoning population. The struggle to fund programs for students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), sometimes called English Language Learners (ELL), represents a major drain on school budgets ...

Factors Straining Public Schools
• A surge of Unaccompanied Alien Minors crossing the border from Mexico, Guatemala,Honduras and El Salvador beginning in 2014

• Family units entering the country illegally

• People overstaying their visas

• Higher-than-average birthrates among families with an illegal head-of household

• Around a million legal immigrants granted permanent resident status every year since 2004 - In addition, the spread of “sanctuary” policies across the country—cities, counties and two states (California and Connecticut) that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration agencies—also serves as a magnet for illegal aliens. Almost every school district highlighted in this report operates in an active sanctuary jurisdiction ...

The Cost to Taxpayers

LEP students cost taxpayers approximately $59.2 billion annually. Almost the entirety of this cost, 98.9 percent, is borne by taxpayers at the local and state level. This fiscal impact is felt well beyond the southern border states—Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California— where problems related to immigration are typically associated.

 In fact, 11 of the 13 states spending more than $1 billion on LEP programs in 2016 don’t border Mexico: Colorado, Illinois, Washington, Virginia, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, New Jersey, New York and Maryland.

The flood of new immigrants continues to devastate historically disadvantaged African-Americans, many of whom lag academically as resources are lavished on the newcomers, including those here illegally.

As standards drop and student achievement declines across the country, LEP programs are draining resources for all students. Yet educators and politicians, who use political correctness and name-calling to avoid debating the issue’s merits, display a shameful lack of accountability. Only by changing course can the nation avoid a bleak future, but the time to act is now ...