Sunday, April 13, 2008

Research looks at costs, resources for educating immigrants in Carolinas

Here are the links for both studies. The Economic and Social Implications of theGrowing Latino Population in South Carolina and Breaking the Piggy Bank: How Illegal Immigration is Sending Schools Into the Red It's no surprise to see FAIR perpetuating negative images of immigrant children as costing the country money, and providing no analysis of the amount of money parents and families contribute to the economy.


Are illegal immigrants' children draining educational resources?

Much depends on individuals' attitudes toward educating all children and the best allocation of tax dollars.

In the study "Breaking the Piggy Bank: How Illegal Immigration Is Sending Schools Into the Red," the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a national anti-immigration group, estimated based on 2004 data that educational expenditures for illegal immigration were costing S.C. taxpayers $143.5 million dollars annually.

This cost was partially for educating students who were themselves illegally in the country ($59.8 million) and in part for the education those born in the United States to illegal residents ($83.7 million).

A University of South Carolina study, "The Economic and Social Implications of the Growing Latino Population in South Carolina," acknowledges that some people fear Hispanic students increase education costs because they lack English skills, but English language learners represent only 2 percent of the total school population.

In 2006, Hispanic students represented about 3.7 of the total S.C. school population, mostly in kindergarten and lower elementary grades, according to the study. Horry County had the fourth-largest number of Hispanic students in the state at that time.

Like all students in S.C. schools, the study notes, Hispanic students require base student costs and funds for special programs. The average per-pupil expenditure in South Carolina is about $7,800.

A study by the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flager Business School found that immigrants - both legal and illegal - are dramatically changing the state's demographic landscape, including its schools.

From 2000-2004, Hispanic enrollment accounted for more than 57 percent of total N.C. enrollment growth. More than half are concentrated in 20 N.C. counties.

Hispanic students in Brunswick County accounted for less than 0.4 percent of total enrollment. Any money going to N.C. schools, of course, would be educating these children. The average per-pupil costs in 2005-2006 were about $7,600. In addition, the federal government provides funds to school districts that serve English language learners and migrant students.
From staff reports

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