This is a copy of the information provided to all Hamblen County Commissioners at the October 10th meeting of the Public Services Committee regarding estimated costs incurred by the county in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 in relation to the education of illegal immigrant students.
The parts that will be sent to the U. S. Government (Senator Bill Frist and Senator Lamar Alexander and Congressman Bill Jenkins of Tennessee and others) are:
A. The Resolution
C. Itemized Costs.
Sections B,D,E, and F provide background information, data on additional costs, commentary on statements that have previously been made in opposition to the proposal, and figures that were requested of the Hamblen County Board of Education by Commissioner Tom Lowe.
NOTE: Some of the information in the resolution was in a column format but may not appear in columns within this text. Hopefully, any information that was in a column format can be understood regardless.
“Send the ‘illegal immigration education’ bill to the US Government”
B. Background & Objective
C. Itemized Costs
D. Costs Recognized but not Included
F. Appendix: Figures Requested of HCBOE
Submitted by Commissioner Tom Lowe
Whereas.....1. Hamblen County school expenses routinely exceed revenues, largely due to costs arising from education services rendered to students whose enrollment in Hamblen County schools is due to illegal immigration.
Whereas.....2. School enrollment data reveals the majority of students produced by illegal immigration are illegal aliens, unlawfully present in the United States.
Whereas.....3. Supreme Court case law in Plyler v. Doe requires Hamblen County to provide education services to all students whether their U.S. presence is lawful or unlawful.
Whereas…..4. Federal mandates requiring county payment for educational services to students in Hamblen County due to illegal immigration has precluded other county services, staff pay and benefits, as well as needed capital repair and maintenance.
Whereas......5. Local police departments receive federal reimbursement for the cost of arresting and jailing illegal aliens under the Department of Justice State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), requiring law enforcement to establish that the prisoner is an illegal alien.
Whereas......6. State prisons receive federal reimbursement for long-term incarceration of sentenced illegal alien prisoners, also requiring that the prisoner be identified as an illegal alien.
Whereas......7. Hospitals may obtain federal reimbursement of illegal aliens’ medical costs after establishing the patient’s illegal alien status.
Be It Resolved...That the Hamblen County Commission will send an invoice to the United States Government for educational costs due to illegal immigration, similar in principle to current reimbursement practices of local police, state prisons and hospitals.
Itemized costs are based on figures already submitted, accepted and paid by the Tennessee Dept of Education for services rendered during the school years 2002-03 and 2003-04. Student counts will be taken from enrollment in Title 1, Part C Migrant Education Program, because the occupations qualifying a “migrant” student (agriculture, migratory, temporary or seasonal agricultural workers, migratory dairy workers, fishing or migratory, temporary or seasonal fishing (8)) are routinely identified by government officials as performed by illegal aliens because “they do the jobs Americans won’t do.”
In addition to the calculated local contribution to the established PPE (Per Pupil Expenditure) will be included costs of operating two federal programs: (a) Title 1, Part C Migrant Education Program and
(b) Title III, English as a Second Language
Only costs of programs directly resulting from students enrolled in Hamblen County Schools as a result of illegal immigration will be included. An example is the free breakfast & free lunch program. Many “illegal immigration” students are on the free meal program but can’t be distinguished from other students. For that reason, the costs of such programs won’t be included in this resolution and invoice.
Sections A & C (Resolution and Itemized Cost Statement), itemized by year and based on Tennessee DOE figures, will be sent to Washington DC offices of our federal legislators: Senator Bill Frist, Senator Lamar Alexander and Congressman Bill Jenkins.
B. BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
BACKGROUND. As with other U.S. local governments, illegal immigration has been disastrous to Hamblen County’s finances, especially with education costs.
One indicator of “illegal immigration” is the count of “English-Language Learner” and Migrant students:
Year---Migrant(ii)---ELL (i)---ELL/Hispanic---Hispanic Only (i)----All (i)
01-02--- 200----------253----------55%-------------458 (5.0%)---------8,995
02-03--- 503----------355----------54%-------------659 (6.9%)---------9,602
03-04--- 973 (iii)-----496----------65%-------------760 (7.8%)---------9,729
04-05--- 744 (iii)----563 (ii) 300% increase in 5 years!
05-06--- 650 (ii) Projected
Nor does the growth show any sign of abating; the expected 2006 number shows a 15.5% increase over 2005!
Both commissioners and citizens dislike increasing property taxes, especially with current citizen resistance and objections to illegal immigration. Other solutions must be found, and public awareness followed by public discussion and debate will begin the process.
Sadly, Hamblen County not only hasn’t searched for solutions, some commissioners still pretend there is no problem. The result is that law enforcement agencies have a federal program (SCAAP) to recover at least a portion of their “illegal immigration” costs and a recent “one-time” appropriation was made for reimbursement of states’ medical care to illegal aliens. In comparison, school systems have no opportunity for federal reimbursement of their illegal immigration costs.
OBJECTIVE. Changes in public policy and public law occur when elected representatives hear from citizens, best expressed by the old adage “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Law enforcement and hospitals have “squeaked” while funders of school systems have not. To the irritation of local property owners and parents, they’ve quietly passed “illegal immigration” costs to local taxpayers.
So long as Hamblen County Commissioners continue to sit quietly, nothing will change—“illegal immigration costs” will continue to increase, no new solutions will be found (or even sought), and taxpayers and parents will become increasingly furious at the commission’s inaction.
By passing and sending the resolution to our federal elected legislators, we hope to effect public policy changes. By drawing public attention to the issue, public awareness and support for policy changes will increase. Including associated costs emphasizes the need for action.
The solution proposed in the resolution is reimbursement of “illegal immigration” education costs (for years 2002-03 and 2003-04) from the federal government whose failure to stop illegal immigration has produced the excess costs, similar to what’s currently done with law enforcement and hospitals.
Will a phone call from a federal official tell us “the check’s in the mail?” We won’t know until we try; there’s no guarantee.
Our only guarantee is what we already know to be the result of continued inaction--continued rising local costs, continued pressure for tax increases, and increased taxpayer and parent complaints. A recent newspaper quote will be recycled with each new school budget: “The school district is asking for $1.2 million in new local funding this year.”(iv) Schools’ incessant demands for “more money, more money” has become
automatic; only the numbers vary from year to year.
C. ITEMIZED COST STATEMENT
PPE = Per Pupil Expenditure
Hamblen County Direct Contribution (6)
- School Year 2002-03 (PPE = $6369) 44.7% of PPE Total
- Migrant Count (1)--------503 x $ 2,847----------------------- $1,432,041
- School Year 2003-04 (PPE = $6448) 43.8% of PPE Total
- Migrant Population (11)-973 x $ 2,824---------------------- $2,747,752
- Total Selected Hamblen County Direct Costs----------- $ 4,179,793
For consideration with the “Itemized Costs” section, the following figures were requested of Supt. Dale Lynch on Friday, September 15. As of Thursday, October 6, the information remains undelivered with no commitment of an actual delivery date.
Administrative costs of the Migrant Student program, listing separately each staff position title, salary range and benefits package. This should include but not be limited to:
a. Gail Rice (or equivalent staff position), supervisor of the HCBOE migrant program and the percentage of her time allocated to the Migrant Student program.
b. Juan Cervantes, Migrant Coordinator (or equivalent staff position)
c. 3 Part-time Migrant teachers (as stated on the HCBOE website)
d. The state DOE website mentions "Kimberly Fox." What is her function, position, title, and salary range for the three mentioned years?
Administrative costs of the ELL program, listing separately each staff position title, salary range and benefits package. This should include but not be limited to:
a. Brenda Dean (or equivalent staff position), overseer of HCBOE’s ELL program and the percentage of time allocated to ELL.
b. Each ELL teacher and percentage of time allocated to ELL
Although these two programs receive federal grants earmarked for ELL and/or Migrant Education, federal administrators for both ELL and Migrant Education report these grants are often supplemented by “local money.” They are the best source of whether that’s true in Hamblen County is the local school district. (13, 14) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
…from Sandra Miller, Phoenix, AZ (assisting Commissioner Lowe)
Dollar figures for administering both the ELL and Migrant programs were requested by Commissioner Lowe of Supt. Dale Lynch on Friday, Sept 15, providing Lynch with a custom-prepared 1-page form upon which requested data could be written. Commissioner Lowe asked that the completed information be returned on or before Friday, September 30.
When figures provided to Commissioner Lowe on 9/23 were found to be incomplete and largely irrelevant to this resolution, Commissioner Lowe’s vacation led me to tackle the task of obtaining them on his behalf. A revised form (F-Appendix) was e-mailed to Dr. Lynch on Tuesday, Sept. 27 (with an e-mail copy to his secretary to avoid the “spam-blocker” that hindered Lowe’s initial e-mail transmittal), even the secretary didn’t receive it. Upon learning two days later (Thursday, Sept. 29) from Dr. Lynch that he isn’t receiving e-mail, the form was faxed to him that afternoon. On the same fax, I suggested that he ask HCBOE Information Systems staff to scan his completed form and send it to me by attaching to an e-mail.
Hoping to enable easier delivery for Dr. Lynch, a fax was sent to Dr. Lynch the following Monday (October 3) suggesting that he send the requested and completed information to Commissioner Noe and provided her fax number. Two days later (Wedneday, October 5) Lynch’s secretary Ava Goforth phoned me asking for my fax number; upon learning that I don’t have “receive” capability, asked for my mailing address in Arizona. She was evasive when I asked whether she can send/receive e-mail, as well as to my question of “what is Dr. Lynch sending me?” Only when I repeated the question three times (“Does the ‘response’ consist of the information requested?” did she finally admit that the “response” didn’t include the requested information but only stated that Dr. Lynch would not accept my request to fax to a “third party” (that they consider Commissioner Noe a “third-party” is mind-boggling).
Preliminary figures for the ELL program alone indicate costs of over $600,000. When (or perhaps if) dollar figures initially requested of Dr. Lynch on September 15 actually arrive, they may reveal increased “illegal immigration” cost amounts due to local contributions to these programs.
To avoid similar delays, the Migrant Education and ELL Education departments of Tennessee and the US Dept of Education were consulted instead of the HCBOE, although HCBOE seems to be the only source for local dollar figures.
D. COSTS RECOGNIZED ALTHOUGH NOT INCLUDED.
Figures listed above obviously don’t represent total “illegal immigration education” costs to Hamblen County schools, only the obvious ones identified by non-education “laymen.” They’re likely a “tip of the iceberg” representation that emphasizes the need for further study with collected figures clearly identifying students associated with illegal immigration.
Having stated that, even the cursory figures are daunting. The “illegal immigration” costs equal or double the $1.2 million funding increase requested for the current school year!
Although other programs beside those itemized are affected, the costs from “illegal immigration students” aren’t distinguishable from conventional student participants. These programs are mentioned in this section to increase public awareness of the pervasive effect of illegal immigration costs on the US public school system.
a. Free breakfast and free lunches for “illegal immigration” students (mentioned earlier). One parent shared the comments of his children's elementary school principal that all Hispanic students at that particular school receive free breakfast and free lunches. While “Hispanic” isn’t necessarily a one-to-one translation to “illegal alien,” the correlation is undeniable. That same principal certainly didn’t mention having every student of other ethnic groups (Anglo, Asian, etc) in such programs!
b. Administrative and Maintenance costs for at least 2 additional schools to accommodate the 503 or 973 “illegal immigration” students. PPE (Per Pupil Expenditure) amount on the report card is based on the total actual expenditures (including all personnel salaries) of each school system divided by the average number of students in attendance at the system. (9)
Based on 2002-03 school populations (4), at least 2 elementary schools are required to accommodate the number of “illegal immigration” students. By removing from the HC schools’ equation only the elementary “illegal immigration students,” 2 (or more) elementary schools may not be needed:
- Alpha Elementary--------------- K-5 688
- Fairview Marguerite-------------K-5 431
- Hillcrest Elementary------------ K-5 500
- John Hay Elementary----------- K-5 251 }Elem. 49.85%
- Lincoln Heights------------------- K-5 365
- Manley Elementary-------------- K-5 467
- Russellville Elementary--------- K-5 612
- Union Heights Elementary------ K-5 246
- West Elementary------------------ K-5 402
- Whitesburg Elementary---------- K-5 189
- Witt Elementary------------------- K-5 187
- East Ridge Middle---------------- 6-8 589
- Lincoln Heights Middle--------- 6-8 493 } Middle 23.3%
- Meadowview---------------------- 6-8 563
- West View Middle---------------- 6-8 599
- Morristown East High------- 9-12 1,271 } HS 26.25%
- Morristown West High------ 9-12 1,250
- HC Alternative--------------- K-12 60 0.6%
- Total Students (2002-2003) ----------------------9,602
- 2 principals @ $59,619 (5) ------------- $ 119,238
- 2 asst. principals @ $50,676 -----------$ 101,352
- 2 secretaries @ $24,405 ----------------$ 48,810
- 4 custodians @ $ 22,830 ----------------$ 45,660
- Benefits Packages 10@ $8,607---------$ 86,070
- TOTAL ------------------------------------$ 401,130
- School Year 2002-03
- Additional teachers for 503 “illegal immigration” students
- (25.8 students/teacher) (12) 19.5 x $ 36,963 (5)-----------$ 720,779
- Benefits Package— District Cost 19.5 x $ 8,198 (10)------ $ 159,861
- School Year 2003-04
- Additional teachers for 973 “illegal immigration” students
- (25.8 students/teacher)(12) 37.7 x $ 37,284 (5)-------- $ 1,405,607
- Benefits Package—District Cost 37.7 x $ 8,607 (10)------$ 324,484
- TOTAL FOR TWO YEARS-------------------------------------$2,610,731
(i) Report Card, Tennessee DOE website http://www.state.tn.us/education/rptcrd00/index.html
(ii) “Hamblen County Measure of Success Report;” Students Served ELL, Ricky Bruce, Education Committee, January 25, 2005
(iii) Final Yearly Count, Migrant Education Consultant, TNDOE
(iv) Morristown Citizen-Tribune, “Battle Lines Drawn in fight for school funding,” July 14, 2005
(v) Non-Illegal Immigrant Students (Non-II) = Total Students = Migrant Students
(1) “Hamblen County—Measure of Success Report,” Students Served Migrant, Ricky Bruce, Education Committee, January 25, 2005
(2) “A look at the Hamblen Co. Hispanic population,” Morristown Citizen Tribune, July 6, 2005
(3) HCBOE website & e-mail from Dr. Dale Lynch dated September 24, 2005
(4) School population, Tennessee DOE website http://www.state.tn.us/education/
(5) Annual Statistical Report, Average Salary, 2003-04, Tennessee DOE website: http://www.state.tn.us/education/mrptarchive.htm
(6) Report Card; Finance, Tennessee Doe website http://www.state.tn.us/education/
(7) Statistics delivered by Dr. Dale Lynch, September 23 2005
(8) Federal Programs: Title I, Part C-Migrant Education, Tennessee DOE website, http://www.state.tn.us/education/
(9) Director, Local Finance, TN State Dept of Education, Nashville, TN
(10) “Hamblen County—Measure of Success Report,” Financial Summary—Benefits Plan, Ricky Bruce, Education Committee, January 25, 2005
(11) Final Yearly Count, Migrant Education Consultant, TNDOE
Note: to qualify as ‘migrant,’ students must have moved alone, with or to join a parent, spouse or guardian who has moved to obtain work in agriculture, fishing, temporary or seasonal employment.
(12) Tennessee Code Title 49, Chapter 1-104, weighted mean of specified average class sizes.
(13) Regional Coordinator, Office of Migrant Education, US Dept of Education, Washington DC
(14) Title III Program Director, TNDOE
E. COMMENTARY. This section presents and rebuts arguments against the resolution, usually from those who favor illegal immigration for a variety of reasons.
(1) Voting NO or TABLE. There’s no “neutral position” on this resolution. Those who vote NO reveal that they want to continue allowing the federal executive branch to refuse their responsibility of stopping illegal immigration while continuing to shift the costs to local taxpayers. The same is true of those voting to TABLE in the hope of evading an unpopular decision. Tabling the matter also allows the current problem to continue and intensify.
(2) “Political Posturing.” "Reluctants" have labeled the resolution "political posturing" because supporters acknowledge their primary objective is increased awareness and public scrutiny of the issue with actual collection of money a secondary objective. Actually receiving a check would be nice, but it’s recognized as a secondary objective.
What a detractor calls "political posturing" supporters call "stepping up to the plate." Dismissing the resolution as "political posturing' is similar to accusing those who oppose illegal immigration of racism by those who can't destroy the message so instead try to destroy the messenger.
(3) Primary / Secondary costs of illegal immigration. The resolution and itemized costs refer to “students in Hamblen county schools due to illegal immigration” whether or not the students themselves are illegal aliens or children of illegal aliens born in the US (known as “anchor babies”). Had the US federal government fulfilled its Constitutional obligations in Article IV, Section IV, stopped illegal immigration and closed the borders, neither group of students would be enrolled in Hamblen County schools.
That “anchor babies” are a secondary rather than a primary cost of illegal immigration doesn’t change an undeniable fact: had illegal immigration into the US not been so easy, the parents wouldn’t have been present in the US to give birth to these “anchor babies.”
For this resolution, both illegal alien students and “anchor babies” are included in “illegal immigration” students. Should the Hamblen County Commission be able to collect accurate figures of the immigration status of enrolled students and their parents, it will be important that the figures include these “anchor babies.”
(4) “The issue has become ‘political.’ ” Some fear the illegal immigration issue will produce violence similar to that of the 1960s. One commissioner says that despite his recognizing the validity of citizens’ complaints, he’ll vote NO because “it’s become political.”
Let’s review what happened during those ‘violent 60s’:
American citizens had legitimate complaints about inequitable or non-enforcement of laws.
When these American citizens approached their elected representatives to correct the inequity, those officials refused to hear, much less resolve, the valid complaints of black citizens.
Their repeated attempts to “petition for redress of grievances” as guaranteed by the First Amendment didn’t work. In effect, their elected representatives voted NO.
They tried going through the local system as law-abiding citizens, but when they found the local system hostile and unresponsive, civil disobedience to draw national attention was their only remaining option.
Although they intended to achieve their “awareness” goal by non-violent means, eruptions were almost inevitable as the same “deaf” representatives continued to deny their rights as citizens.
National awareness of the injustice generated corrective action by the federal government. Had local government addressed and resolved the problem, there would have been no need for help from “outsiders.” Citizens exercising their First Amendment rights of “redress of grievances” are entitled to use any assistance legally available.
Now let’s look at today that Commissioner Alvis presumably remembers:
American citizens want consistent enforcement of all laws on the books (including immigration laws), and object to enforcement of laws against them while illegal aliens are allowed to violate any laws they choose with no consequences.
When these same American citizens ask their elected representatives to insure uniform enforcement of laws on the books, those officials refuse to hear, much less correct, the valid complaints of these American citizens. The August 22 response of Mayor Gary Johnson to Tom Duthie is typical:
Sergeant Major Duthie,
The City of Morristown or our Police Department have no jurisdiction as regards United States immigration laws, including those “that already exist.”
Until such time that the US Government decides to deal with the situations you speak of, little will change.
Mayor Gary R. Johnson
When these same American citizens participated in a July rally, it was peaceful; the only problems were created by those supporting illegal aliens.
Another typical response to objections of these American citizens is Mayor Johnson’s August 13 “show of overwhelming force.” Because they recognized attempts by local officials to portray their attempts as “infiltrated by hate groups,” they intentionally absented themselves from Mayor Johnson’s staged “show of overwhelming force.”
Although sympathetic to citizens’ stated “petition for redress of grievances,” one commissioner expresses his intention to vote NO.
Federal refusal to end illegal immigration has produced “national awareness” of the impact to local governments and its citizens. Will local government AGAIN ignore its responsibility to address the grievances of its citizens? Just as in the 1960s, had government fulfilled their responsibility, there would have been no need for aggrieved citizens to seek help from “outsiders.” Citizens exercising their First Amendment rights of “redress of grievances” are entitled to use any assistance legally available.
It’s been said that “Insanity is doing the same things the same way and expecting a different outcome."
Does anyone think to avoid a repetition of 1960s violence by mimicking the behavior of 1960s unresponsive elected representatives? The apparent hope is that by ignoring citizens’ valid complaints long enough, they’ll stop complaining and “live with it.” Aside from shirking his obligation to serve citizens’ interests, he exacerbates already existing ill will and increasing citizens’ frustration and potential for violence.
If elected representatives are so fearful of duplicating “the 1960s violence,” why do they repeat behavior that led to conditions that produced them?
(5) “The figures aren’t exact.” One or two commissioners have cited “reluctance” to pass the resolution because "the figures aren't exact." Actually, the student count figures are not only precise but have already been submitted by HCBOE as well as validated and paid by the Tennessee Dept of Education.
What the “reluctants” REALLY mean is there’s no assurance that 100% of students in the English Language-Learners can be directly traced to illegal immigration.
It’s for exactly that reason that Migrant Education participation was substituted. That eligibility as a “migrant” student requires association with occupations routinely identified by government officials as “we need illegal aliens for this work because they’re jobs Americans won’t do” is a custom-made synonym for illegal immigration. The Migrant Education program defines these occupations as agriculture, migratory, temporary or seasonal agricultural workers, migratory dairy workers, fishing or migratory, temporary or seasonal fishermen (8).
Establishing accurate counts of students associated with illegal immigration would be an obvious solution for figures claimed as “not exact,” but that’s unlikely to happen. School administrators who would oversee collection of such numbers are notoriously resistant and repeatedly non-responsive and evasive, as experienced with this resolution. Considering the non-cooperation that would result, it’s obvious that the figures currently available are as accurate as they’re ever likely to be. Even "accurate figures" supplied by HCBOE aren't totally dependable.
For example, during the June/July school budget process for the current year, the commission received two "Actual" costs for the same item--Migrant Education program for the school year 2003-2004.
On the Federal Budget Summary, "actual" Title C budget: $53,496.00
On the 2-page Actual/Budget History for Title C (2001-2006): $39,565.58
A difference of $13,930.42 is hardly "pocket change."
Another example appeared on the same Title I C Actual/Budget History in the amounts budgeted for Social Security and Medicare. Accuracy of these two should be "no-brainers" (maximum of 1.45% for Medicare and 6.2% for FICA). The 2005-2006 budget wages compared to the previous year (2004-2005) show a decrease in base wages yet an increase in Medicare and FICA dollar amounts! Moreover, the FICA deduction for 2005-2006 is shown as 10% of budgeted wages (rather than a maximum of 6.2%) and the Medicare deduction for 2005-2006 is shown as 2.3% of budgeted wages (rather than a mamimum of 1.45%), an all-too-obvious error.
The two examples above beg the question of how to identify which of the two figures are "ready for prime time" when the primary information source submits two different dollar costs for the same expense.
In the matter of information-gathering, when educational administrators are asked for specific numbers of illegal alien students in their schools, they repeatedly insist "we don't ask if students are illegal because federal law prohibits it." Yet an 8/28 e-mail inquiry (and 9/13 follow-up) to Hamblen County Schools Superintendent Dale Lynch asking for the exact law/policy/code containing that prohibition that he's repeatedly cited remains unanswered. Similar inquiries of Gail Rice regarding her similar claims also remain unanswered. Both have proven to be very quick to make the claim but won’t even acknowledge requests for substantiation.
In contrast, replies from experts at both Center for Immigration Studies and Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) contradict both Dr. Lynch and Ms. Rice.
To the question: “Is there really a federal law that forbids asking or recording the immigration status of K-12 students? Or perhaps a written policy or procedure BASED on interpretation of the law?” they answered:
From Leah Durant, staff attorney at FAIR, Washington, DC:
"As for your question about whether school districts are prohibited from reporting the immigration status of their students, it appears that Federal law does not explicitly prohibit schools from gathering and reporting such data. As a matter of fact, other Federal laws (such as 8 U.S.C. section 1373) provide that state or local governments may NOT prohibit voluntary reporting to ICE, and further provide that those persons / agencies which enact policies to restrict their employees from voluntary cooperation are subject to fines, imprisonment or both. In the wake of Plyer however, many school districts have initiated such policies in an attempt to avoid possible law suits from pro-illegal alien groups."
From Mark Krikorian, Center for Immigration Studies, Washington, DC:
"No. The Supreme Court has ruled that until Congress says otherwise, localities have to educate illegal-alien children, but not that they can't ask. In fact, there are rules for kids attending high school who aren't legal permanent residents (i.e., on some kind of student visa), so some schools are asking."
As stated in the Objective section, this resolution’s purpose is to effect changes in public policy and/or public law by public discussion of the issue and its apparent costs. Current public debate and examination of the immigration issue (both legal and illegal) demands accurate information for decision-making. Regardless of how “not exact” anyone may claim accompanying figures are, none will deny that exact figures of students associated with illegal immigration aren’t currently available. It’s not a case of locating exact figures, because exact figures SIMPLY DON’T EXIST. Indeed, public officials have effected de facto policies to BLOCK collection of such figures on the insistence that “they don’t matter.”
Review of “best available” facts that direct public attention to apparent costs may be the next step to collecting better and/or different data. Any needed public policy changes WON’T HAPPEN UNLESS CALLS FOR CHANGES ARE HEARD (with this resolution being one of those calls)! Citizens are calling for those changes, and local officials should be next to “step up to the plate.” County commissioners who hear the calls and then hinder public attention and/or information-gathering are obstructing the process, whether they’re educational bureaucrats or elected officials. They’re making it clear to citizens that they want the current inequities to remain just as they are.
Local governments would do well to insist on collection of accurate figures for review. That school staff are quick to hide behind apparently nonexistent “federal laws” or use the 'race-card excuse' ("we educate all students regardless of race, religion, nationality or ethnicity") makes it clear that educational bureaucrats have helped created the problem and want to continue blocking public access to the facts. These same educational bureaucrats want the public to remain unaware that “illegal immigration students” offer the opportunity for obtaining more money for ever-increasing educational budgets.
Opposition to illegal immigration is an issue of law-compliance; playing the race card won't quash the public debate.
F. APPENDIX: Figures Requested of HCBOE. After initially receiving a similar “fill-in-the-blanks” form from Tom Lowe on Monday, September 19, Dr. Lynch called Commissioner Lowe to provide the requested information in a meeting on Friday, September 23. After review of the information provided in the meeting was largely irrelevant to what was requested, a second revised form (below) was provided to Dr. Lynch to more clearly specify what we wanted and make his reporting easier. The form was send on Tuesday, September 27 and again on Thursday, September 29. As of submitting this document for the agenda on Wednesday, October 5, the information was still outstanding.
PLEASE PROVIDE ACCURATELY AND COMPLETELY THE ITEMS INDICATED
Numbers followed by a “?” were provided to Tom Lowe; we’d like to verify that numbers indicated are correct.
(1) Number of Students in the ELL program 2004-05 ___653?__________
(2) Per Pupil Expenditure and federal, state, local distribution for 2004-05.
(3) Cost of Salaries and Administration of the Migrant Student program, listing separately each staff position title, salary range and benefits package. This should include but not be limited to:
a. Gail Rice (or equivalent staff position), supervisor of the HCBOE migrant program.
What percentage of her time is allocated to the Migrant Student program? ___
b. Juan Cervantes, Migrant Coordinator
c. 3 Part-time Migrant teachers (as stated on the HCBOE website)
d. Also, the state DOE website mentions "Kimberly Fox." This person wasn’t mentioned to Tom Lowe--what is her function, position title and salary range for the three mentioned years?
(4) Cost of Salaries and Administration of the ELL program, listing separately each staff position title, salary range and benefits package. This should include but not be limited to:
a. Dr. Brenda Dean (or equivalent staff member), who oversees the English Language Learning program in Hamblen County **
What percentage of her time is allocated to the ELL program? _________
b. Each ELL teacher and percentage of time allocated to ELL
8 ELL teachers @ up to $55,000?_________________
3 Teacher Assistants @ $27,000?_________________
(5) Cost of benefits package for each staff position involved in administration of the ELL and Migrant programs.
2002-03: $ ___________
2003-04: $ 8607.73?___
2004-05: $ ___________