English-Language Learners

Could Immigration Status Become a Teacher Issue?

By Liana Loewus — June 10, 2011 1 min read

At Education Week’s Learning the Language blog, Mary Ann Zehr points to a law just signed in Alabama that requires schools to determine the immigration status of students. It’s an even more rigid law than the one signed last year in Arizona.

While the Alabama law doesn’t bar undocumented primary and secondary students from receiving schooling, it does require the Alabama Department of Education to report numbers of such students to the state.

The law is likely to be challenged in court by civil rights groups before it goes into effect in September. But if it does hold up, I’m wondering: How will this trickle down to teachers? Many teachers know (without formally asking) who is and isn’t documented in their classes. Will schools attempt to require teachers to relinquish this information? And how might this all affect parent/teacher relationships?

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.