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Educating illegal immigrants is costly
AJC ^ | August 17, 2010 | Lance T. Izumi

Posted on 09/19/2010 1:27:35 PM PDT by Inappropriate Laughter

As the debate on illegal immigration rages in Washington and state capitals, it’s troubling to see both sides rely on emotional rhetoric to the detriment of facts. The impact of illegal immigration on public education is a case in point.

No one can deny that increasing numbers of children of illegal immigrants attend public schools in the United States and that U.S. taxpayers pay the costs. Those sympathetic to illegal immigration tend to remain silent about these costs, while illegal-immigration opponents often fall short on specifics. In the interest of more informed discourse, here are the numbers.

According to a study released last year by the Pew Hispanic Center, as of 2008, 11.9 million illegal immigrants lived in the United States, more than triple the 3.5 million who lived in the country in 1990.

Among the states, California has the largest number of illegal immigrants with 2.7 million, nearly double the 1.4 million in Texas. California’s illegal-immigrant population has swelled by 1.2 million since 1990, while Texas has added a million. A large proportion of illegal-immigrant households are families.

Nearly half, 47 percent, of illegal-immigrant households consist of parents with children. This proportion is more than double that of U.S.-born households, where just 21 percent are parents with children. Over the years, the number of children of illegal immigrants has increased significantly.

In 2003, there were 4.3 million children of illegal immigrants. By 2008 that number had climbed to 5.5 million, more than the entire population of Colorado. The large number of children of illegal immigrants greatly impacts public schools and education-funding costs.

The Pew study found that in 2008, “Children of unauthorized immigrants are 6.8 percent of students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12,” an increase from the 5.4 percent in 2003. The proportion was double in California, where 13.5 percent of k-12 students in 2008 were the children of illegal immigrants.

Given these percentages, cost estimates of educating these children are staggering.

The U.S. Census Bureau just released 2008 figures showing the national average total per-pupil funding from all revenue sources was $12,028. Although estimates of the number of school-age children of illegal immigrants don’t separate those attending public vs. private schools, it’s reasonable to assume that nearly all attend public schools since most come from lower-income families. Therefore, if one multiplies $12,028 by the roughly 3.7 million students with illegal-immigrant parents, then one gets a national total funding cost of $44.5 billion.

In California, total funding per pupil from all state, federal and local revenue sources was $11,649. With roughly 923,000 students in the state with illegal-immigrant parents, these students represented a total cost of nearly $10.8 billion out of a total 2008 k-12 education budget of $72 billion. An important caveat is that these totals rely on average per-pupil funding numbers.

The actual cost of schooling these children could be higher because many education dollars are earmarked for special purposes. At the federal level, Title I funds are sent to schools to support disadvantaged children, which benefits many children of illegal immigrants. In California, the state’s Economic Impact Aid program provides tax dollars to fund English-language acquisition, which aids children of illegal immigrants. Capital costs for school construction may have increased at a higher rate because of the influx of children of illegal immigrants.

Although almost three-quarters of the children of illegal immigrants were born in the United States and are therefore citizens, had their parents not entered the U.S. illegally these children likely wouldn’t be in U.S. public schools and wouldn’t require taxpayer funding. Thus, it’s fair to say that their education cost stems from their parents’ illegal entry into this country.

The public-education establishment can’t have it both ways on this issue. The Los Angeles school board, for instance, harshly criticizes Arizona’s immigration enforcement law, but also complains about its own budget shortfalls. The numbers, however, confirm that illegal immigration imposes large costs on the public school system. Policymakers should acknowledge and wrestle with this expensive reality instead of satisfying themselves with cheap rhetoric.

Lance T. Izumi is Koret senior fellow and senior director of education studies at the Pacific Research Institute.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: illegals

1 posted on 09/19/2010 1:27:37 PM PDT by Inappropriate Laughter
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To: Inappropriate Laughter

It’s not costly to the Illegal Aliens.


2 posted on 09/19/2010 1:29:53 PM PDT by Howie66 (I can see November from my house.)
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To: Inappropriate Laughter
But the left would argue that the parents of the ILLEGALs DO pay taxes so they're paying for their children's education.

Another example, of course, of how the left is wrong on everything.

3 posted on 09/19/2010 1:35:04 PM PDT by South40 (Filled with hatred for those that disagree, democrats are the most intolerant bigots on earth)
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To: Inappropriate Laughter

This all has to be purged from our shores. In spite of McCain and the Bush’s feelings on this.


4 posted on 09/19/2010 1:37:38 PM PDT by Cheetahcat (Zero the Wright kind of Racist! We are in a state of War with Democrats)
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To: Inappropriate Laughter

Deporting them would be a heck of a lot less cost.


5 posted on 09/19/2010 2:27:03 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: South40

To the extent that schools are funded by property taxes, everyone who owns a house or pays rent is paying. To the extent that sales taxes or lottery funds go to education, everyone who buys is paying.

Private education for all would make this argument irrelevant.


6 posted on 09/19/2010 2:54:34 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, Luna Lovegood. Get it?)
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To: Tax-chick

“To the extent that schools are funded by property taxes, everyone who owns a house or pays rent is paying.”
this always gets brought up but in fact is not close to true
Anyone who lives in public housing( which btw includes many illegal families who have dropped an anchor baby) do not contribute to property taxes since the owners of section 8 or public housing do not pay property taxes.

The reality is either illegals are not paying any property taxes OR the amount they might pay on a place where 8-12 are crammed into is so low compared to the amount we pay to educate their illegal or anchor baby kids we’d be far far better off without illegals and the huge unsustainable drain.
Sales tax? do the math, they don’t pay enough in sales tax to fund 1/2 of one kid, let alone help pay for the other services they drain us of

Anyone who thinks otherwise is lyingtto themselves


7 posted on 09/19/2010 3:18:13 PM PDT by RWGinger
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To: RWGinger

“To the extent that schools are funded by property taxes, everyone who owns a house or pays rent is paying.”
this always gets brought up but in fact is not close to true
Anyone who lives in public housing( which btw includes many illegal families who have dropped an anchor baby) do not contribute to property taxes since the owners of section 8 or public housing do not pay property taxes.


This should be a headline story!!! Amazing, but little mentioned fact!


8 posted on 09/19/2010 3:25:12 PM PDT by bushwon ("If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait till it is free"--PJ O'rourke)
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To: RWGinger

Everything you say is true of almost everyone using public schools, unless they live in a very high-tax district and have only one child. The system runs on the backs of those who don’t have children in the schools, including consumers of private education.

I’m sure illegal immigrants are a real issue in some places, especially on the border. However, they’re a statistical blip overall.


9 posted on 09/19/2010 3:26:59 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, Luna Lovegood. Get it?)
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To: Tax-chick

taxchick
you posted this, “Everything you say is true of almost everyone using public schools,”
except chick the difference is the word ILLEGAL
What part of ILLEGAL do you not understand?

Take away the millions of illegals and then see how much funding is left to help LEGALS.
We are either a nation of laws or we are not.
You seem to prefer we have no laws.


10 posted on 09/19/2010 5:44:30 PM PDT by RWGinger
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To: RWGinger

I’m not talking about laws, except the laws that require everyone to fund schools. I’m simply discussing the distribution of costs vs. benefits.

If you can’t see past your focal point on illegal immigrants, that’s okay. Life is like that sometimes.


11 posted on 09/19/2010 6:45:55 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, Luna Lovegood. Get it?)
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To: Tax-chick

“I’m simply discussing the distribution of costs vs. benefits.”
Actually no you are not.
But the glorious thing about our country so far is the freedom to have any opinion, based on facts and even based on nothing.

FP thankfully reflects that very freedom.All views are welcome here.


12 posted on 09/20/2010 7:13:55 AM PDT by RWGinger
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To: RWGinger

Are you sure owners of section 8 properties don’t pay property tax? I thought section 8 was a subsidy to the landlord for the tenant that did not attach to the property.


13 posted on 09/20/2010 7:20:27 AM PDT by csmusaret (The Obama/Pelosi/Reid Cartel is a Kakistocracy)
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To: csmusaret

I can only speak for a few states with which I am familiar but in those states part of an agreement a governing body( city or county) and private owners of Section 8 housing is that they don’t pay property taxes

here is a link from an article on Chicago Section 8 housing
http://www.chicagoareafairhousing.org/node/50
“Own rental property in the Chicagoland area? Help reduce your taxes by participating in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Tax Savings Program!

What is the tax savings program? The Housing Opportunity Tax Savings program is a tax abatement for landlords who rent to Section 8 tenants in “opportunity areas.”
end of quote

This is pretty typical of agreements I have seen in other cities


14 posted on 09/20/2010 7:27:28 AM PDT by RWGinger
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