School Leadership and Immigration

By Mary Ann Zehr — November 08, 2007 1 min read
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As a follow-up to a couple of blog entries I’ve written lately (here and here) about how schools have gotten caught up in law-enforcement actions by federal immigration authorities, I’ll point you to an article in November’s issue of The School Administrator, published by the American Association of School Administrators.

In “Fighting for Immigrant Children’s Rights,” several school superintendents recall how they responded to immigration raids in their communities to make sure children were safe and cared for. (I wrote about this topic for Education Week in September).

New to me was an anecdote about how educators at the Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Nassau County, N.Y., which serves 56 local school districts on Long Island, joined with people from various community institutions to address immigration issues in their area. According to the article, people from the educational agency worked with others from law enforcement agencies, health care providers, the court system, and local school districts to “weave a new social safety net” for immigrants, including undocumented immigrants. As a result, immigrant families were able to get legal services and banking services. An exchange program with some states in Mexico was created. Postsecondary institutions started offering scholarships to immigrants.

By contrast, the article quotes the superintendent of a school district in Orange County, N.Y., who says that school leaders should let politicians address immigration issues and stick to their role of educating students.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.