New York Spends $147.7 Million on Unaccompanied Alien Children in Public Schools

By Katherine Rodriguez | September 8, 2014 | 1:14pm EDT

The state of New York is laying out the "red-carpet treatment" for children who have crossed the border illegally.

It turns out that they are the highest spenders in the nation on illegal immigrant children who enroll in public schools, with New York school districts shelling out a staggering $147.7 million to subsidize a single year of their education, according to a report released by the Federation For Immigration Reform (FAIR).

The report shows New York ranking second-highest in the nation for the number of illegal immigrant children enrolled in public schools, with 4,244 illegal immigrant children enrolled.  It ranks first among states that do not sit along the southern border.

The only state that ranks higher than New York overall for the number of illegal immigrant children enrolled in school is Texas with 5,280 minors enrolled in public school.

Still, the annual cost per pupil in Texas ($15,008) is actually only 42 percent of the cost for educating a student in New York ($35,520), which leads the nation in cost per illegal alien student.

Washington, DC ($31,734), Alaska ($31,592) and New Jersey ($31,367) also spend more than $30,000 per illegal alien student annually.

Nationally, it'll cost taxpayers$761,405,907 to educate illegal immigrant children for the school year.

FAIR, a non-profit that focuses on curbing illegal immigration, released a map which shows how much states are spending on illegal immigrant children in public schools:

ype="node" title="Cost of Illegal Immigrant Children in Public Schools

FAIR documents that almost 37,000 unaccompanied minors enter the United States every year and enroll in school:

This year, there will be almost 37,000 “unaccompanied” alien minors who will be enrolling in public school in the United States. These kids will require special Limited English Proficient (LEP) classes conducted in Spanish, or in other languages indigenous to Central American, as well as other taxpayer funded services, such as free and reduced school meals. FAIR has documented these costs in previous reports (Utah, Nevada, Maryland). The per pupil cost for unaccompanied minors is likely to be even higher than the average LEP student, since the recent illegal aliens of school age who came in the recent surge have had little to no previous schooling. Once again the costs of federal government’s failed immigration policies are borne at the local level, and the nation’s public school system is where the costs are most visible.

CNS News previously reported that many of these 37,000 children who enroll in public schools are placed with their parents or some relatives while they wait for their court cases to be processed.

Ninety-nine percent of unaccompanied minors who enter the U.S. illegally are of school age and of those enrolled 98 percent would be enrolled in public school as of this academic year, according to a recent Pew Research Center study.

The average per-pupil cost per student according to the Census Bureau is $20,297, but because many unaccompanied minors enter the U.S. with a limited knowledge of English, the cost per student goes up.

The Thornton Commission in Maryland in 2001, a CRS report in 2004 and a companion report in Nevada in 2006 stated that the additional cost of having a limited knowledge of English is between 10 and 200 percent.

Anna Giaritelli, a press secretary for FAIR, said that the reason why the cost is so high for many of these students is because many of them will require specialized teachers who will teach students one-on-one.

"In addition to students knowing very little English or none at all, these minors now live in poverty so they will also be eligible for school-subsidized free meals, Giaritelli said. "Additionally, they likely received very little education in their home countries so in New York they will require instructors who can speak to them in specific Central American dialects as well as participate in remedial learning programs."

When these unaccompanied children land in the United States, they enter the public education system and stretch the resources of these local schools struggling to make ends meet.

But the problem is far from over.

CNS News also reported that there are still more children to be released into the system:

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), 62,998 unaccompanied alien children under the age of 17 have illegally crossed the southern border since October of last year. So there are still thousands of children and teens in detention centers waiting to be processed before they are released throughout the U.S.

The vast majority are from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, according to the CBP.



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