WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The explosive growth of programs serving limited English speaking students in public schools – fueled by historic levels of immigration – is costing taxpayers nearly $60 billion a year and diluting the quality of education for all students. That is the finding of a new study, "The Elephant in the Classroom, Mass Immigration's Impact on Education," released today by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
"Mass immigration is an enormous unfunded federal mandate. Policy is made in Washington and local taxpayers are stuck with the tab," said FAIR President Dan Stein. "Not only are local taxpayers on the hook for these enormous costs, but it is affecting the quality of the education their own kids receive."
Almost one in every ten students – some 4.9 million – enrolled in public schools is designated as Limited English Proficiency (LEP); for kindergarteners, 17.4 percent are LEP students. Roughly 3.6 million, or nearly 74 percent of these students, are illegal aliens or the children of illegal aliens. FAIR estimates that nearly 99 percent of LEP costs are paid for by local taxpayers.
Among the key findings of the report:
- The cost of educating the nation's illegal alien children is $43.9 billion, or $12,128 per student.
- 13 states spent more than $1 billion on LEP programs in 2016, including California, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Washington, Virginia, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, New Jersey, New York and Maryland.
- Almost one in every 10 states serves more than 100,000 LEP students, and 22 states educate 50,000 or more.
- In urban areas, 14 percent of students are LEP.
"Unfortunately, while school budgets across the nation have tightened, schools are finding it harder to accommodate the ever-expanding flow of legal and illegal immigrants and the growing number of refugees, all in need of LEP assistance. It's hard to see a scenario where the quality of education for all students isn't diminished as scarce resources are increasingly diverted to serve LEP students," said Stein.
"The Elephant in the Classroom," offers detailed recommendations for curbing the increase in immigration-related demands being placed on America's schools and taxpayers that are resulting in a declining quality of education for students. These include:
- Secure the Borders.
- Overturn Plyler v. Doe.
- Amend the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.
- Remove the incentives that bring families into the U.S. Illegally.
- End dangerous "Sanctuary" policies.
- Limit overall immigration to 300,000 annually.
To read the report in its entirety, click here.
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