AISD: Education for All Residents
The school system supports its students, no matter their immigration status
By Richard Whittaker, Fri., Feb. 24, 2017
Plyler v. Doe: That's the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court ruling stating that all students are entitled to a public education, regardless of immigration status. It's also the ruling Austin ISD's board of trustees cited this week in unanimously approving a resolution reaffirming that the district is open to and supportive of all residents. In a special meeting held Feb. 20, Superintendent Paul Cruz reminded trustees "we educate all students," and began to lay out how the district has been responding to the recent spike in ICE detentions, which includes meeting with the city and county, and providing additional support to teachers on how to talk to kids about the arrests. Cruz noted that students are coming to staff in fear about being deported – a nod to last week's clash over how proactive the district can be regarding this issue. On Feb. 13, a memo went out to administrators that detailed the legal limits of what teachers may or may not say while representing the district, but its language was condemned as too conservative by immigration groups, board members, and Education Austin, the district's employee union. In passing this new resolution, board president Kendall Pace said, "We recognize the fear in our communities. We also recognize that community engagement and trust building is tantamount to our collective success."
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