The Department of Education has stated that public schools must educate all students within their districts despite if they are undocumented or not. This issue of education for illegal immigrants and their children is one that is starting to get some people a little hot under the collar in Georgia. My opinion on this subject is one that is shaped by the fact that I am a parent and want to provide the best quality education to my child. Let’s discuss some of the issues surrounding my opinion on the undocumented student problem
First off there is a tremendous burden placed on the taxpayer to educate the illegal immigrants that cannot be ignored. On average it cost the state of Georgia 9,600 dollars per year to educate one student. This dollar amount is higher in the case of undocumented students due to extra resources being need for the these students to catch up to native students. In Georgia this cost adds up to almost two billion dollars per year on undocumented students. In addition, this cost to the taxpayer, might not produce any future benefits for future generations if the undocumented student leaves before being able to join the labor force.
Increases in the number of students in each classroom will lead to the lower quality of education that can be obtained by each student. Lets face it time is the most limited and valuable resource on the planet. I have asked teachers about their opinion on the trend of growing classrooms and they have expressed concerns about higher number of students. “These increase lead to less quality time with students, thus lead to reduced grades.” This was the statement of one teacher at a county meeting last month. When increase in classrooms happen there are only two possibilities. One is to increase the size of the classroom and the other is expand the faculty in order to meet this increase. The out of these two possibilities are either lower quality education attainment or tax increases.
Right vs. Obligation
I do believe in a free quality education right for each student regardless of whether that student is documented or not. With that being said I also believe that the parents of our children are obligated to provide that education either directly through teaching of their child or indirectly through taxes. People like to talk about this being a question of equality, I say they are right. It is about the equality of paying your fair, either directly or indirectly, share to educate your child.