With local school districts getting ready to unveil their proposed budgets for the 2007-2008 academic year, some are expressing worry over an issue that they believe is causing school taxes to rise - illegal immigration.
The problem is this: Schools are not allowed to consider whether a child is here legally or not. They are obligated to educate them, and it doesn't matter what the child's status is. It is purely a matter of the law and according to a 1982 US Supreme Court ruling, school districts are "prohibited from barring access to a student on the basis of legal status or alleged legal status". But this is costing taxpayer billions annually and taxpayers have had it. They are saying let's get real and put a dollar amount on this monster already:
"The first thing school districts should be allowed to do is find out exactly how many students are here illegally, and then find out how much that is costing taxpayers," said Medford resident Arthur Francis. "Once we know what kind of dollar figure we're looking at, then we can say to ourselves, 'Is it worth going to the Supreme Court?' If it's costing us a lot of money, and we have to go all the way to the Supreme Court, we should. Those coming here illegally shouldn't be a burden on taxpaying citizens to the extent where they are hurting our quality of life."After all, kids here illegally are requiring ESL teachers, more classrooms and other resources. Parents, who are legal citizens or legal immigrants, are beginning to feel that they are not only paying more in taxes, but their own kids are getting short-changed in the end as a result of over-crowded schools and less resources available. Add to this the issue of giving illegal aliens in-state tuition breaks and it is easy to see why people have just about had it with the whole issue. Legislators better sit up and take notice; a full-fledged revolt may be in the wings.