ERIC Number: ED524173
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 10
Immigration and Schools: Policy and the Law. A Legal Memorandum: Quarterly Law Topics for School Leaders. Vol. 8, No. 3, Spring 2008
Taylor, Kelley R.
National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
In recent years, immigration has become a hot-button issue--so much that mere mention of the word almost guarantees an impassioned response. Whether that response generates ideas and hope, debate and frustration, or even anger, depends on seemingly innumerable factors. Everything from personal preferences, politics, and prejudices to ethnic, socio-economic, and vocational circumstances play a part--as do the societal and economic effects of immigration on various aspects of life in the United States. Such wide-ranging influences are not absent in the school environment. School districts in many areas of the country enroll a significant number of immigrant students. As a result, how public schools do and should deal with educating those students garners a prominent share of the larger immigration debate. Immigration has always been controversial. In 1982, debate over whether undocumented school-age children should be granted access to public schools in the United States came to a head. At that time, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a class action involving a Texas law that authorized local school districts to deny enrollment in their public schools to children not legally admitted to the country. The statute also purported to withhold from local school districts any state funds for educating undocumented children. The Supreme Court case originated from a federal district court ruling which held that illegal aliens were entitled to the protection of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and that the Texas statute violated that clause. The lower court found that neither the Texas statute nor the school district policy that implemented the statute had a purpose or effect of keeping illegal aliens out of the state. This report discusses the Supreme Court's ruling in "Plyler v. Doe" and its consequences.
Descriptors: Public Schools, School Districts, Court Litigation, Educational Environment, Immigration, Immigrants, School Law, School Policy, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Undocumented Immigrants, Politics of Education, Access to Education, Equal Education, Barriers
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site: http://www.nassp.org
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serial; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: National Association of Secondary School Principals
Identifiers - Location: Texas; United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Fourteenth Amendment