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Texas Undocumented Students

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Texas Undocumented Students
And Education Policy
EDU 365 Politics of American Education
September 3, 2012

The society group of undocumented immigrant students has impacted education policy in many ways over the last ten years, especially the Border States that are so highly affected such as; California, Arizona, and Texas. In this paper I will focus on Texas and how these policies including the rights of the students, funding issues, and language barriers have impacted the way in which these school districts have had to change the policies set forth to ensure every child receives a quality public education. In Texas, prior to 1982 the law did not allow school districts to use state funds to educate undocumented immigrant children; districts were even allowed to deny enrollment to these children. (Combs, Susan, 2006) However, in the case of Plyler v. Doe in 1982 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas law was in violation of the equal protection provision of the 14th Amendment. (Combs, Susan, 2006) As a result of this and many other court cases, states can no longer deny access to public education to undocumented students nor can they attempt to identify undocumented children for fear of discrimination. (Combs, Susan, 2006) The Texas Education Agency reported that the average state and local expenditure per student in 2004-05 was $7,085, noting this does not include federal funds. (Combs, Susan, 2006) Although the actual number of undocumented immigrant students is not concrete due to the inability to accurately account for each and every one, the Comptroller’s office estimates that there were about 135,000 undocumented children in Texas public schools during the 2004-05 school year, or about 3 percent of total public school enrollment. (Combs, Susan, 2006) Considering the estimated number of undocumented students the Comptroller…...

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