Susan Edelman and Isabel Vincent, New York Post, November 23, 2014
New York has sent a warning to its schools: Expect more illegal immigrants.
The city Department of Education has told principals it plans this year to enroll 2,350 migrant children from Central America who crossed into the United States unaccompanied–with many more to come.
“It is expected that children will continue to arrive in large numbers in the coming years,” says a DOE memo to principals obtained by The Post.
The notice comes as the city rolls out a $50 million red carpet for 1,662 minors who crossed the border this summer to escape violence and gangs in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
In the “surge,” 5,000 of the 63,000 migrant kids caught trying to cross US borders–or who turned themselves in for refuge–have been released to relatives or other “sponsors” in New York state. Most live with other illegal immigrants.
The recent arrivals join an estimated 350,000 children of illegal immigrants already in New York state–about 12 percent of the public-school population.
The city’s per-pupil spending in the 2012-2013 academic year averaged $20,749, which would bring the total for the migrant kids to $48.7 million.
But the costs could soar, because the youths–many of them victims of poverty and abuse–will need state-mandated English-language instruction, free or reduced-price lunch, and a range of other services, including psychological counseling, medical and dental.
“Unless the mayor, governor or president announces that funds will be made available immediately, our already-struggling schools will have to provide more,” said Sam Pirozzolo, vice president of the New York City Parents Union.
“NYC public schools are already failing to meet the needs of the students they have–70 percent cannot read, write and do math at grade level. How can they handle thousands of new students competing for the same services without things getting worse?”