Schooling to Be Included at New Family Detention Centers

By Mary Ann Zehr — May 20, 2008 1 min read
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Ever since I wrote about a school operated by the Miami-Dade school district at a detention center for unaccompanied minors who are immigrants, I’ve been interested in the quality of education that immigrant children receive while in detention.

The alleged lack of adequate schooling for children was part of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in March 2007 against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concerning the operation of the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, Texas, where immigrant families are housed. In a settlement, the federal government agreed to make improvements in education there, such as aligning instruction with Texas academic content standards. See my earlier posts about Hutto here and here.

Now I see that the federal government is accepting bids for three new family detention centers that will hold up to 600 men, women, and children found to be living illegally in the country, according to a May 18 article in the Los Angeles Times. (I picked it up from RaceWire: The Colorlines blog).

The article says that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency calling for bids, states that the new facilities for families will provide a “least restrictive, nonsecure setting” that includes schooling for children, recreational activities, and access to religious services.

Based on what I observed at the Miami detention center, it’s my guess that most of the children in these facilities for families will be English-language learners.

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