As lawmakers in Washington consider changes to immigration laws, Miami-Dade public school officials want them to know just how much their policies are taxing South Florida’s classrooms.
According to a report released last week, the district pays $22 million each year to educate new students who come to South Florida from other countries and enroll in K-12 classes. The report says close to 1,000 new immigrant students enter Miami-Dade classes on average each month — totaling about 11,000 a year — costing about $2,000 more per student than those who come from South Florida and don’t require additional language services.
The “Immigration Impact Briefing,” compiled at the request of Miami-Dade School Board member and Republican political consultant Carlos Curbelo, says the extra $22 million — a conservative estimate — is not reimbursed by federal or state funds. Translation: It comes from Miami-Dade taxpayers.
“This does come at a cost, and the way it happens isn’t in any way ideal,” Curbelo, the son of Cuban parents, said of how federal laws regulate and fund the education of immigrant students."