KIMT News 3 – Schools across the country are preparing for an influx of immigrant children in their classrooms.
Nationwide, as many as 50,000 of these unaccompanied minors are expected to start school this fall.
Under federal law, all children are entitled to a free public education, regardless of their immigration status.
Taking on these types of students is nothing new to most schools across the country, however the part that has districts worried, is the sheer number of unaccompanied minors they could be seeing walk through their doors.
Some districts in the country are already dealing with these children.
According to the U.S. office of refugee resettlement, as of July 7th, Maryland had more than 2,000 unaccompanied minors in the state.
The question is, how many will actually end up enrolling in the fall?
Mason City and Clear Lake Schools Superintendent, Dr. Anita Micich said, while the possibility of taking in a large number of these students would be a challenge, the state has been through a similar situation before.
“Maybe it isn’t so much about finding families who will take the students or their families in, but it’s more about how do we help them through that process? We had to do some of those kinds of things with the young people who came to us in Des Moines with Hurricane Katrina. Some of them came with families, some did not. There were host families that helped care for people, and some of those folks then were able to reunite with family members at a later date.”
Dr. Micich added that the situation in Des Moines went smoothly because it was a community effort.