Bill requiring schools to count undocumented students advances
Published: April 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm
Schools will be required to identify and count students who are in the country illegally under a bill that the Senate passed on March 31.
S1097, which is sponsored by Sen. Russell Pearce, a Mesa Republican, also requires the Department of Education to determine the cost of educating students who cannot prove lawful residence in the state and to research the “adverse impact” of their enrollment.
The bill received a 16-10 vote. Democrats voted against the Measure, while Republicans supported it.
Senate Minority Leader Jorge Garcia earlier unsuccessfully offered a floor amendment that would have made it any response by pupils or parents to questions about students’ immigration status voluntary.
The bill’s next stop is the House.
The legislation advanced despite strong opposition from public school advocates who said the requirements might lead to violations of federal law. Counting students also would cost money that school districts simply don’t have, they said.
But Pearce, a Mesa Republican, said taxpayers have a right to know how much public money is being spent to educate students who are in the country illegally.