ERIC Number: ED483244
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun-21
Illegal Alien Schoolchildren: Issues in Estimating State-by-State Costs. Report to the Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives. GAO-04-733
Kingsbury, Nancy R.
US Government Accountability Office
To address the potential for estimating the costs of educating illegal alien schoolchildren, this report: identifies major government sources of relevant data; describes a Census Bureau plan for developing new information; and outlines cost-estimation approaches. Data were collected through: a survey of 20 states; outreach through associations of governors and mayors; interviews at federal agencies; a literature review; and consultation with experts. Results found that government information was not sufficient for directly estimating the state-by-state costs of providing public schooling to illegal alien children. States and local areas recorded data on school enrollment and costs but not on immigration status. A few states estimated the costs of educating illegal alien children for this study, based partly on assumptions. The National Center for Education Statistics maintained enrollment and cost data but no data on immigration status. The Department of Homeland Security developed state-by-state estimates of the illegal alien population, but the estimates did not break out age groups and were subject to methodological limitations. The Census Bureau is developing a plan to estimate the size of the resident illegal alien population, indirectly by age group and state. However, the plan does not specify the age groups to be estimated, faces technical challenges, and depends upon future funding. This report concludes that the simplest approach to estimating the costs of educating illegal alien children is to multiply average current per pupil expenditures by estimated number of illegal alien schoolchildren separately for each state.
Descriptors: Undocumented Immigrants, Students, Public Education, Enrollment, Costs, Statistical Data, Immigration, Government (Administrative Body), Cost Effectiveness, Expenditure per Student
U.S. General Accounting Office, 441 G Street NW, Room LM, Washington, DC 20548. Tel: 202-512-6000; Fax: 202-512-6061.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.