Equity & Diversity A National Roundup

Detained Children Assured Schooling

By Mary Ann Zehr — September 04, 2007 1 min read

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has agreed, in a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union, to meet several standards in providing schooling for children at a detention center for undocumented immigrants in Texas.

“The students are going to have five hours of classes every day,” said Vanita Gupta, a staff attorney with the ACLU, in describing the stipulations in the Aug. 26 settlement.

The agreement also says the 100 or so children at the T. Don Hutto Family Residential Facility in Taylor, Texas, will receive an education based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards. It guarantees that students will have certified teachers or teachers enrolled in a program to become certified.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a branch of the U.S. Homeland Security Department, released a statement on Aug. 27 saying it had already implemented many of the changes contained in the settlement agreement.

Ms. Gupta said that before her organization filed a lawsuit in federal court in March against the federal government regarding the conditions at the facility, a number of nonprofit organizations had said the schooling was inadequate. Children received only one hour of instruction per day and teachers weren’t certified, she said.

But she said the center had responded to the criticism and made improvements in education before the ACLU filed the lawsuit and since then.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in Texas. See data on Texas’ public school system.

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