Skip to comments.Breaking the Piggy Bank: How Illegal Immigration is Sending Schools Into the Red
Posted on 06/14/2005 10:25:35 PM PDT by Happy2BMe
With states straining under gaping budget shortfalls, public schools throughout the country are facing some of the most significant decreases in state education funding in decades. In some states, drastic cuts mean lay-offs for teachers, larger class sizes, fewer textbooks, and eliminating sports, language programs, and after-school activities. Nearly two-thirds of the states have cut back or proposed reductions in support for childcare and early childhood programs. Some are even shortening the school week from five days to four.
While these massive budget deficits cannot be attributed to any single source, the enormous impact of large-scale illegal immigration cannot be ignored. The total K-12 school expenditure for illegal immigrants costs the states nearly $12 billion annually, and when the children born here to illegal aliens are added, the costs more than double to $28.6 billion.1
This enormous expenditure of the taxpayers hard-earned contributions does not, however, represent the total costs. Special programs for non-English speakers are an additional fiscal burden as well as a hindrance to the overall learning environment. A recent study found that dual language programs represent an additional expense of $290 to $879 per pupil depending on the size of the class.2 In addition, because these children of illegal aliens come from families that are most often living in poverty, there is also a major expenditure for them on supplemental feeding programs in the schools. Those ancillary expenditures have not been included in the calculations in this report.
The data presented here provide yet one more illustration of the costs of turning a blind eye to illegal immigration and should provide further impetus for states to demand that the federal government finally take effective and decisive action to restore integrity to our nation's immigration laws.3
The 1.5 million school-aged illegal immigrants residing in the United States4
and their 2 million U.S.-born siblings can be divided among the states using government estimates of the illegal alien population.5 Using each states per-pupil expenditure reported by the U.S. Department of Education,6 cost estimates for educating illegal immigrants in each state are shown below.
The calculation of the number of children of illegal aliens in the K-12 public school system indicates that more than 15 percent of Californias students are children of illegal aliens, as are more than ten percent of the students in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, and Texas. More than five percent of the students are the children of illegal aliens in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington.
Defenders of illegal aliens assert that the cost of educating illegal alien students is offset by the taxes paid by their parents, but study after study shows that immigrants cost taxpayers much more in public services used than they pay into the system via taxes.7 This is particularly true of illegal immigrants, who are disproportionately low-skilled and thus low-earning and are much more likely to be working in the underground economy or providing contractual services and not withholding taxes.
A look at the top ten highest state expenditures provides a stark illustration of the trade-offs for accommodating large-scale illegal immigration:8
In California, the $7.7 billion spent annually educating the children of illegal immigrantsnearly 13% of the overall 20045 education budgetcould:
In Texas, the $3.9 billion spent annually educating the children of illegal immigrants could:
In New York, the $3.1 billion spent annually educating the children of illegal immigrants could:
In Illinois, the $2 billion spent annually educating the children of illegal immigrants could:
In New Jersey, the $1.5 billion spent annually educating the children of illegal immigrants could:
In Florida, the $1.2 billion spent annually educating the children of illegal immigrants could:
In Georgia, the $952 million spent annually educating the children of illegal immigrants could:
In North Carolina, the $771 million spent annually educating illegal immigrant children could:
In Arizona, the $748 million spent annually educating illegal immigrant children could:
In Colorado, the $564 million spent annually educating illegal immigrant children could:
Efforts are underway in several states and in Congress to allow illegal aliens to pay steeply discounted in-state tuition at public colleges and universities rates not available to American citizens from other states. As state universities across the country increasingly limit enrollment, increasing the intake of illegal aliens into these schools will mean fewer opportunities and less aid for U.S. citizens and legal immigrants. It will also mean a higher cost to the state taxpayers; out-of-state tuition is typically two to 3.5 times higher than in-state tuition.10
In 2000, about 126,000 illegal immigrants under 21 were enrolled in college, according to research from the Congressional Research Service.11
Using 2000 data, we calculated that at non-resident tuition rates, they would be paying between $503 million and $655 million annually. If they were made eligible for in-state tuition discounts, they would be paying less than one-third of that amount, i.e., $155 million to $201 millionleaving taxpayers to make up the difference of $348 million to $454 million.12
We estimate that both the number of illegal alien students and the tuition costs will have increased since 2000. In 2004 the estimated outlays would be about $839 million to $1.092 billion, and the discount for in-state tuition would reduce that to about $258 million to $336 millionleaving the taxpayers to make up the difference of $581 million to $756 million.
The cost estimates in the table at the right, distributed to each state according to their proportion of the illegal immigrant population,13 are for the 15 states with the highest estimated expenditures:14 Several of these states are already incurring these costs. In-state tuition provisions for illegal aliens are currently in effect in California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Washington andthrough dont-ask, dont tell provisionsin Georgia and Arizona.
Proposed federal legislation to give illegal aliens in-state tuition rates would carry additional substantial costs. According to the Congressional Budget Office, making illegal alien students eligible for federal tuition assistance through Pell grants would have cost $195 million in 2003 and $362 million over the 2003-2006 period.15, 16
The estimate by the Congressional Budget Office of costs for providing tuition assistance to illegal alien students and the state cost estimates of providing access to in-state tuition at taxpayer expense above do not include the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens because they are already eligible to attend college as in-state residents. However, it should be noted that these expenses, like their education at the primary and secondary level, result from the illegal immigration of their parent(s) and could be avoided if the immigration authorities more effectively deterred illegal immigration and identified and removed those illegally residing in the country.
All of our childrennative-born and immigrants alikeare receiving a poorer education as a result of the federal government passing its immigration law enforcement failures on to the states. The implications for the coming generations of workers, our future economy, and our long-term competitiveness in the world cannot be ignored.
If the federal government remains unwilling to undertake serious enforcement of the United States immigration laws, it will eventually be forced to provide massive federal education funds to the states. A far more logical and cost-effective alternativeand one with considerable pay-offs in other areas as wellwould be to substantially reduce illegal immigration.
Without a serious commitment to doing just that, the open borders and lax enforcement that allow millions of illegal aliens to enter the U.S. each year and to obtain drivers licenses and other official identification documents with virtually no fear of the lawwill continue to undermine the will of the American people, overburden our communities financial resources, and imperil our childrens future.
Breaking the Piggy Bank
was originally published by FAIR in 2003 using illegal alien population estimates tied to the 2000 Census and limited to the costs of educating students who were, themselves, illegally in the country. This update adjusts the illegal alien population upwards for the continuing rise in that population, the continuing increases in the cost of education, and to include the cost of educating the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens. The cost estimate in the original version was $7.4 billion.
Increases in the estimated per pupil educational cost in the 03-04 school year were based on the rate of increase between 00-01 and 01-02. These increases generally were between 10%-25%. There were three states with increases of less than 10% and eight with increases greater than 25%.
The estimate of the increase in the illegal alien student population was based on an estimate of the overall increase in the illegal alien population, i.e., from 7 million in 2000 to at least 10 million in 2004. The estimate of the illegal alien K-12 school population is assumed to have similarly increased by about 43% (from slightly less than 1.1 million to slightly less than 1.6 million students).
(Massive cuts in spending (+) Massive illegal alien invasion in public schools = Massive Illiteracy Rates)
With states straining under gaping budget shortfalls, public schools throughout the country are facing some of the most significant decreases in state education funding in decades.
In some states, drastic cuts mean lay-offs for teachers, larger class sizes, fewer textbooks, and eliminating sports, language programs, and after-school activities.
Nearly two-thirds of the states have cut back or proposed reductions in support for childcare and early childhood programs. Some are even shortening the school week from five days to four.
"There needs to be a Constitutional change if need be that says we don't educate illegals unless they can pay, we don't give them birth certificates or any social benefits."
Whoa! I checked out the stats on my neighborhood public elementary school: 76% of students qualify for free or low-cost lunches and 55% of students are in ESL classes.
My daughter's going to private school!
"Hmmm. wonder why?"
Your answer sir lies in #4.
Those who can't read are bad people, yes- like our grand parents, but please don't hesitate to steal more of my paycheck to be accounted and spent as the teachers' unions see fit.
Sure, I trust their word if they say they need my money. Just take it - it's not really mine!
This illustrates that there's a big difference in the cost of illegal aliens depending upon which state you're in. My state is near the bottom, thankfully so my property taxes don't subsidize many children of illegal aliens.
Effectively dumbing down America.
So is my grandson, and it's not cheap. People who are paying for private school shouldn't have to pay for public schools too, especially here in California where a huge percentage of the students are illegal aliens. Illegal aliens get everything free here. We have to obey the laws and pay the taxes, but they don't.
We also decry the way our government is aiding and abetting this invasion of our country by not protecting our borders and call for it to enforce our immigration laws.
We applaud those in Congress who are working to effect meaningful immigration reform and protect us from the influx of aliens, not just from Mexico, but from all nations of the world including those who have pledged their lives to killing as many of us as possible.
One question that we must also consider is the high cost to us of doing nothing.
Ohio spends 183 million or about 1/4 that of either Mass or WA even though Ohio has twice the population.
Ohio has very few immigrants or illegals. Ohio is 85% white. Ohio is 49th in job creation (Michigan is last) and has an unemployment rate of 6.3%.
One in 6 Ohioans are on medicaid compared to 1 in 10 nationally.
My point in this is that if you eliminate immigration, you still may not get paradise.
I will add that is Ohio doing badly because there is no immigration or is there no immigration because Ohio is doing badly ? Further, there may be zero correlation between doing badly and immigration.
Finally, I skimmed all the numbers in this article and nothing seems out of line. The article makes a good case for reducing immigration.
Ohio is a populous state with very few immigrants as shown on the table.
"The article makes a good case for reducing immigration."
Your common sense has not left you.
HA! BSF - Mississippi has fewer than your state.
A grateful that Mississippi is near the bottom of this list ping.
Common sense tells me.
1. Immigration from Mexico is too large.
2. Some type of guest worker program is needed where these workers can be screened for disease and terrorism links.
3. Some Immigration is good. Too much is bad.
4. Fixing immigration will not solve all the nations problems but is just one of many things that need improvement.
And Mississippi is not doing well economically or scholastically either. However, this may or may not be related to lack of immigration. We still have the question, does MS do badly because of no immigration or is there no immigration because MS is doing badly.
No one knows how many illegals (Mexicans plus many other Nationalitys) there are in the U.S... How could they.?. Numbers this seemingly accurate are an estimation.. no doubt a really low estimate.. Many illegals mask legals with some kind of I.D.. Only stands to reason most illegals don't want to be counted.. and aren't..
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