Giving Compass’ Take:
• Teo Armus reports that Texas is refusing to fund education for children in migrant shelters in spite of a federal mandate that requires six hours of schooling on weekdays, including special education.
• How can the federal and state governments work together to provide schooling for these children? How can funders help find a sustainable solution to this issue?
• Learn about the rights of immigrant children in federal custody.
Texas’ top education officials told school district administrators August 31st that they cannot use state funding to provide schooling for children housed in migrant shelters.
The announcement — issued in a letter sent to all school superintendents statewide — has raised concerns for both shelters and school districts, whose leaders say it highlights a broader pattern of push-and-pull between the state and federal government over regulating shelters.
Leo Lopez, the Texas Education Agency’s associate administrator for school funding, said in the letter that according to state law, Texas public schools can only fund education in shelters — where children are held by federal agencies — through external sources like tuition.
DeEtta Culbertson, a spokesperson for the agency, said in a statement that the responsibility of educating children in shelters “remains solely with the federal government.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandates that migrant shelters must provide children with six hours of schooling on weekdays as well as special education services.
The school district in San Benito had previously applied for an additional $2.8 million in funding from Texas by counting its students inside shelters, the Associated Press reported. But following the TEA letter, San Benito administrators said that they will be forced to end their partnership with a local Southwest Key shelter too.
Read the full article about educating children in migrant shelters by Teo Armus at Governing Magazine.
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