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ERIC Number: ED433172
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Responding to Undocumented Children in the Schools. ERIC Digest.
Morse, Susan C.; Ludovina, Frank S.
This digest discusses public schooling for undocumented immigrant children--children born outside the United States who live here without permission of the federal government. Most are children of agricultural workers. Whatever their circumstances, undocumented immigrant children are entitled to attend school. Anti-immigrant fears are stoked by allegations that undocumented immigrants increase the costs of social services, including education. However, studies suggest that undocumented workers pay taxes but utilize public services at a lower rate than other U.S. residents. Despite the theory of the "common school," U.S. public schools were exclusive until recently. Efforts to exclude undocumented children from public schools contradict the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Plyler vs. Doe. Under this ruling, schools may not deny admission to a student based on undocumented status, impose different admission rules or procedures based on individual or group characteristics, engage in practices to "chill" access to school, make enquiries of students or families that may "expose" their undocumented status, or require Social Security numbers of all students. To serve undocumented students well, schools should promote appropriate staff attitudes toward immigrant children and their parents; have courteous, welcoming admission procedures; explain to staff and parents the school procedures that particularly affect immigrant, bilingual, and undocumented children; and more generally, pursue good educational practices. (Contains 13 references.) (SV)
ERIC/CRESS at AEL, Inc., P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325-1348 (free); Web site:
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Doe v Plyler