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Immigration law could hurt schools

Posted: Monday, July 4, 2011 11:50 am

Local schools could lose federal funding if Alabama’s new immigration law is followed as written, warns DeKalb County superintendent Charles Warren.

That funding currently accounts for about a third of the budget for DeKalb County schools.

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  • opinions_count posted at 10:46 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    opinions_count Posts: 64

    Not sure but was he not trying to say if they report as state law will require then they would be in violation of federal law. If found in violation of federal law then the federal government would cut their funding. They would still have the same number of children but far less per child including but not limited to the legal citizens which are white, black and latino.
    Maybe you guys got it but by the comments it appeared you took it the wrong way. If the law goes into effect as is there will be city and county governments which will suffer from the revenue losses. I wish they would have passed the first phase of the law 10 years ago and then phase in others so the blow back on our already struggling local governments would not be as severe.

  • tomcryar posted at 8:19 pm on Thu, Jul 7, 2011.

    tomcryar Posts: 696

    To Franka: Ummm.........huh?

  • r_wilson posted at 6:09 pm on Tue, Jul 5, 2011.

    r_wilson Posts: 2

    Response to “Immigration law could hurt schools”

    A more appropriate headline for your article, “Immigration law could hurt schools,” might be, “Local schools could lose federal funding if…”, or even, “Federal government could hurt schools,” if a little shock and awe must be preserved.

    Alabama’s new immigration law cannot “hurt schools.” The real issue is that DeKalb County Superintendent Charles Warren is concerned that the Federal Education Department could intimidate, coerce or punish his school system by threatening to withhold, or by actually withholding, federal funds if he follows Alabama HB56 by determining the citizenship and immigration status of enrolling students.

    I have a few bones to pick with Mr. Warren on this matter:

    If, as stated by Mr. Warren, federal funds comprise almost one-third of DeKalb County’s total education budget, why does the Alabama Department of Education report DeKalb County’s Per Pupil Expenditure (PPE) at 15.48% federal funds or $1,343 of $8,677 PPE from all sources? (FY 2008-2009) The state’s share was reportedly $5,537 PPE while local funds were $1,798 PPE. If DeKalb County does receive about 1/3 of its budget in the form of federl funds, those funds are likely for prgrams such as English Language Acquisition.

    HB56 calls for schools to determine the citizenship and immigration status of enrolling students and whether the enrolling student qualifies for classes English Language Acquisition (or English as a second language) Whenever any child enrolls in a public school birth certificates are routinely requested already. If no birth certificate is provided, parents may execute a sworn affidavit attesting to the student's legal citizenship or immigration status. The procedure is nothing more than a census. The stated, and only, purpose of this census is to obtain a more reasonable estimate of the additional costs to state and local governments in providing mandated public education resulting from illegal immigration. For any state or local government to be required to pay for the public education of individuals allowed to enter illegally, or for their offspring while being forbidden to determine the cost to those same stte and local governments is tyranny. It seems ludicrous that we even need to have this discussion. See "Illegal Immigration" for the law in its entirety.

    Mr. Warren states, “Under federal guidelines, we’re told…not to ask a family, much less a student, what their legal status is when we enroll them…I was…taught in civics…that federal law supersedes state law.”

    Mr. Warren mentions the term “federal guidelines” and then he refers to his civics class lessons regarding Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution saying, known as the Supremacy Clause. Mr. Warren states, “…federal law supersedes state law.”

    The framers of the constitution never intended any federal funding of public schools, much less federal guidelines—which are not the same as federal statutes. The Supremacy Clause establishes the US Constitution, US Treaties, and Federal Statutes as “the supreme law of the land” mandating that state judges must follow federal law when a conflict arises between federal law and either a state constitution or state law. However, the Supremacy Clause only applies if the federal government is acting in pursuit of its constitutionally authorized powers. According the US Department of Education website, the page entitled “10 Facts about K-12 Education Funding” indicates in item 1. “The U.S. Constitution leaves the responsibility for public K-12 education with the states.” It seems the Supremacy Clause does not apply in this case.

    Mr. Warren goes on to say, “…I believe this [HB56] is something that’s going to face numerous legal challenges…would this [litigation costs] be better spent in educating our students?”

    Is Mr. Warren advocating that we fold the tents and bend to the will of the ACLU and special interest groups regarding a this matter? Is Mr. Warren advocating the estimation of the cost to defend [HB56] be calculated and turned over to the Education Trust Fund? If our Founding Fathers had followed Mr. Warren’s advice, would we not still be British subjects?

    In any event, Mr. Warren seems to be falling in step with too many other bureaucrats, saying the school board has no plans to alter a recent decision to build a new elementary school in Crossville, which currently has the Hispanic population of any school in the county. Mr. Warren must have learned finance and accounting at the same school where he learned his civics. When did people in authority stop considering reality in their decisions? It doesn’t seem to matter any more whether we can afford something or not—like the so-called federal government, I suppose Mr. Warren would borrow the money and leave it to future generations to repay it. Is that right Mr. Warren?

    Then Mr. Warren reveals some statistics from where, a crystal ball or intuition? “We have not seen a mass exodus of Hispanics since the law was passed. The new law might not survive a legal challenge and many of our Hispanic students and their parents are legal residents,” he said.

    Mr. Warren, what was the Hispanic population prior to passage of HB56? What is the Hispanic population today? And, how do you presume to know that “many of [your] Hispanic students and their parents are legal residents”? Didn’t you say, “Under federal guidelines, we’re told that we’re not even supposed to ask a family, much less a student, what their legal status is when we enroll them in school”? How have you determined population and legal status of [your] Hispanics? If you already know such information, you don’t need to worry about violating a federal guideline and asking for a birth certificate from all enrolling students. Didn’t we need a birth certificate to begin school back in the 1960’s?

    Is it just me or does this stuff just not make sense? We have finally elected an Alabama legislature that exemplifies good sense—for a welcomed change. It seems the “man on the street” is generally In agreement with the innovative and pioneering legislation passed this year. However, virtually every article I have read in the Sand Mountain Reporter finds fault with HB56, the Illegal Immigration Law. Why is that? Does someone have an agenda?

    I would like to elaborate on “NULLIFICATION…HOW TO RESIST FEDERAL TYRANNY IN THE 21ST CENTURY” but you can read Thomas E Woods’ book by the same title just as well as I can.

    Suffice to say, however, that the threat of withholding, or the actual withholding of federal funds from local and state governments that dare to resist the Leviathan central government of the United States of America is to be expected. We can also expect the faint hearted and sheepish to object “that [resistance or] nullification will not work because the federal government has the states right where it wants them: if push comes to shove, no one will want to antagonize the politicians in Washington for fear of losing ‘federal funding.’ This is a serious problem, to be sure. Of course, the problem would be mitigated to some extent if the states were to nullify unfunded federal mandates, thereby saving money. The more states engage in nullification, moreover, the more difficult it will be for politicians in Washington to get away with penalizing them all.”

    “This is the essential point: if the people of the states are determined not to obey a law they consider unconstitutional, that law simply will not be enforced. The federal government can rant and rave all it likes. It won’t matter.” See The Rescue of Joshua Glover by H. Robert Baker (2006), which relates how the state of Wisconsin, circa 1860, steadfastly resisted the federal fugitive slave law and a fugitive slave rescue became the interposition of the state with such intensity that all federal officers—from a deputy marshal to the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court—had been stung by the defiance. Most off-putting to the feds was its success. Despite immense pressure, the stand against the Fugitive Slave Act survived repeatedly at the polls. Thus, we see how difficult it is for the federal government to enforce a constitutionally dubious law when people are determined to resist it.

    In the meantime, if the states really want to b e serious, and their people are educated enough in their real history to back them up, they might consider establishing federal tax escrow accounts. Proposed so far in Oklahoma, Georgia, and Washington state, legislation establishing such accounts seeks to neutralize the federal government’s ability to threaten and intimidate the states. All federal taxes would go first to the state’s department of revenue. From there, legislators would consider the constitutionality of various aspects of the federal government’s budget and then contribute from the escrow account an appropriate amount. Any leftover monies would either be returned to the people or spent on projects currently funded by federal grants. This would be a different way of doing things but that’s precisely the pint. The current way of doing things has made a joke of the Constitution, to say nothing of pushing the country toward bankruptcy.
    Then there’s always jury nullification, which hold that juries must judge not just the facts of the case but also the law itself. Although few people realize it, the consensus among the Founding Fathers was that jury nullification was an essential defense mechanism for free people.

  • BlackPearl posted at 3:21 pm on Tue, Jul 5, 2011.

    BlackPearl Posts: 77

    Do you realize the amount of money being spent on these ILLEGAL students by way of the free lunch program? All of this being Federally funded by every LEGAL-hardworking-taxpaying American!!!
    If you don't think the Illegal population is sucking the blood out of our very existence then you need to wake up and get a reality check!!!

    Illegals- HEED THE LAW.... Politicians-ENFORCE THE LAW!!!!

  • BlackPearl posted at 3:16 pm on Tue, Jul 5, 2011.

    BlackPearl Posts: 77

    Why do you think the School Boards want Federal Grants for "Community Outreach" and other misleading Grant names? It is because if they have enough ILLEGAL immigrants int the system they can be privy to ALOT of Federal money.
    Don't fall for this misleading rhetoric from our school board leaders because it is very hollow indeed.

  • Franka posted at 7:05 am on Tue, Jul 5, 2011.

    Franka Posts: 2

    What a stupid remark, the schools will loose money. Yes, Yes they will as the federal government pay per head. If no kid not pay if no kid no need in teachers. If not kids no need in ESL. If no kid the amount of money to be received will be reduced, but no need then for all the free lunches, free food stamps, no more free housing, no more work for the illegals.

    Frank Bowers, FIC, 100% DAV, Austin, Tx 78734

  • barney posted at 7:10 pm on Mon, Jul 4, 2011.

    barney Posts: 39

    Ooooh.Let's not ask too much of the school system! Well Mr Cunningham,hate to ask too much of you, but the new immigration law is NOW also state law!!

  • JASON posted at 3:37 pm on Mon, Jul 4, 2011.

    JASON Posts: 1