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Carvalho: I'll open migrant schools (Dade County, Florida)
Miami Herald ^ | July 4, 2009 | LUIS ANDRES HENAO

Posted on 07/04/2009 7:51:35 AM PDT by IbJensen

The Miami-Dade schools chief has promised he'll continue to provide educational programs to migrant children, but the head of the housing authority says his agency can do better.

A day after two schools for migrant children were padlocked, Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho vowed to do everything in his power to reopen them.

''I have decided that it is not our intention to leave,'' Carvalho said outside The Redland Education Center, surrounded by 100 parents, educators and members of the Florida Farmworkers Association.

Turning to the farmworkers who bring their children to The Redland and the South Dade Education Centers after school and during the summer for care and tutoring, Carvalho said in Spanish: ``I don't have any intention of abandoning the Homestead community or your children. Blocking the access is not only unjust, but illegal.''

The two centers in South Miami Dade were closed Thursday by the Homestead Housing Authority after a three-year spat with the school district. The Housing Authority, which operates the camps where the programs are offered, wants the school district to enter its ``network.''

The new arrangement would create a better environment for the migrant families, Ed Carrera, the director of the Homestead Housing Authority, said after the protest.

''As of right now this is not a good environment to raise a child, so I'm putting together a network where we all talk to each other,'' Carrera said. ``It works 12 months out of the year and not this piece-meal approach.''

The school district has said it is willing to join the network, but it couldn't let the Housing Authority supersede the Miami-Dade School Board and the state and federal Departments of Education.


Carrera said the Housing Authority plans to replace the school district's programs with educational offerings of its own. They would remain free.

But school officials say there is no alternative to what the school district can provide.

The Miami-Dade school system has run programs for migrant children for nearly four decades. Students in all grades can attend after-school programs during the school year and enrichment camps over the summer. Teachers help them prepare for FCATs and SATs, and also offer social events.

The programs, which are supplemented by federal funds allocated for poor students, serve more than 600 students and scores of parents.

At Saturday's rally was Beatriz Vidales, a teacher at The Redland Center for the last 13 years.

Vidales said she came to this country as a toddler with her parents, who were migrant workers. She, too, worked picking tomatoes and peppers, and attending at another school for migrant children.

''If it wasn't for the education that I received, I wouldn't be where I am,'' Vidales said. ``Education is not a privilege but a right.''

On Saturday, Carvalho said if the two sides don't come to an agreement, he would start a new school close by -- maybe even just across the road. Currently the children get their lessons in portable trailers on property leased by the housing authority.


Tirso Moreno, president of the Florida Farmworkers Association, was hopeful after Carvalho's speech.

''We have a promise to have the program here. They want to continue the education of the community on a permanent basis,'' Moreno said.

School board member Larry Feldman said he spoke with Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart and representatives from the Florida Farmworkers Association on Thursday to discuss a solution to the spat.

At Friday's rally, he lifted up 6-year-old Angelica Jimenez, who squinted from the sweat drenching her eyes.

''Children should not be out here in the sun if it's not because they're playing,'' Feldman said. ``Let these children have a school and not have to cross the street.''

Carvalho said he would like to meet with Carrera to continue to work to find a solution, but Carrera said his plans remain unchanged.

''I'm responsible for giving these parents and children safe sanitary housing and that can only be done if all providers are working in a network,'' Carrera said. ``It's a time for change.

``If I have the same program 100 yards away from the trailers in a permanent building, what's the big deal?''

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: aliens; cheaplabor; freeeducation; immigrantlist; migrants
Who pays?
1 posted on 07/04/2009 7:51:35 AM PDT by IbJensen
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To: IbJensen

We, the taxpayers, of course.

2 posted on 07/04/2009 7:54:48 AM PDT by devane617 (Republicans first strategy should be taking over the MSM. Without it we are doomed.)
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To: IbJensen
Here's a $64,000 question! Why were the schools closed?

3 posted on 07/04/2009 8:04:01 AM PDT by darkwing104 (Lets get dangerous)
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To: IbJensen

There are a heck of a lot of legal migrant children who get short shrift in education. However, there is an easy way to get around the problem.

That is, right now, migrants, mostly farm workers, take particular seasonal routes. Everywhere along that route are public schools that provide them some schooling. But there is no continuity between these schools, so education is on-again, off-again.

With the use of a laptop computer and DVDs, migrant children could continue much of their schooling while on the road. And by making the software interactive, when they arrive at a new school, they give the school a thumb drive, so the teachers will know right where the students are in their studies, and what review materials to provide them to catch up with the rest of the class.

Especially during a severe recession, many more families become transient because of unemployment, so this system helps them, too.

4 posted on 07/04/2009 8:11:12 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: IbJensen
Well, the comments from the Miami Herald page are certainly enlightening as to the nature of the conflict:

"...A little background on Carrera: I have a family member who for 20 years sold fruit in the center, making rounds in his truck, giving fruit for FREE to some and even "pay me when you can" financing. Carrera wanted a cut. He put out bids to others who wanted to sell items in the center. I approached Carrera myself and his response was: 'I want to make sure I know who is selling in my center and this way I can ensure safe products for the residents'. B.S! A petition was passed around. Carrera did not honor it. He is equivalent to CASTRO in cuba but instead in a labor camp in homestead.

5 posted on 07/04/2009 8:17:27 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: devane617

**``Education is not a privilege but a right.’’ **

Republican taxpayers funding the “right” of education for future Democrat voters.

6 posted on 07/04/2009 8:19:59 AM PDT by Boiling Pots (B. Hussein Obama: The final turd George W. Bush laid on America)
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To: devane617
Just another way of subsidizing Florida growers.

Have you seen the price of fresh veggies recently? The subsidy isn't helping.

7 posted on 07/04/2009 8:22:44 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: IbJensen; All

The Terry Anderson Show...

Geraldo says ‘the immigration debate has demonized an entire race of people’.

Demonized ??? Just who forced them to come here illegally ???

What do you care about what Geraldo has said ???

Call Terry LIVE 9-10 PM PST at (866) 870-57521

LIVE stream at

8 posted on 07/05/2009 6:27:16 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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