A new report shows that immigration is costing the Miami-Dade public school district $22 million more per year. The report says that 1,000 new immigrant students enter the school district each month, adding 11,000 new students per year at a cost of $2,000 per student than those that already live in the county. Miami-Dade is the nation's 4th largest school district with more than 353,000 students.
The school district's statistics show that 68,000 students (one in every five) are foreign born. The impact on the district include:
- Additional English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses at a cost of $1,500 per student and not reimbursed by state or federal funding.
- Additional student stations (desks, classroom space, etc.) at a cost of $1,500 per student because their enrollment is unexpected.
- Providing a "transitional newcomer program" for new students that caters to cultural and language needs.
The report was requested by Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo. Curbelo said the extra costs are passed on to the county's taxpayers.
"The federal government should fully fund the cost of its immigration politicies on local school districts," the final report said.
The $22 million represents less than 1% of the school's operating budget, but the district's assistant superintendent of intergovernmental affairs, Iraida Mendez-Cartaya, says the cost is still felt.
"There's a lot we can do with $22 million," Mendez-Cartaya said.
For more information, see the Miami Herald.
Updated: Tue, Mar 12th 2013 @ 10:38am EDT