Hundreds of Immigrants Camping Out To Register Their Kids For School

 Families registering students sleep outside DeKalb schools hq
 July 2010 US Committee on Foreign Relations- Clarkston Refugees
 Immigrants spend night outside DeKalb schools HQ
Immigrant children swarm school district registration office
WSBTV is reporting hundreds of immigrants are camping out overnight at the DeKalb Schools central office to register kids for school on Monday. Many of the adults WSB talked to didn’t speak English and had with them children who recently came across the border unaccompanied.
United States Refugees

According to a July 2010 report from the US Committee on Foreign Relations, from 1975 to 2010 the United States has offered safe-haven to nearly 3 million refugees. Resettlement efforts in some U.S. cities are underfunded, overstretched, and failing to meet the basic needs of the refugee populations they are currently asked to assist. The burdens of addressing the unique needs of refugees after they arrive are passed on to local communities. Many resettled refugees are illiterate in their native language or suffer from severe physical or mental ailments and many are ill-equipped to secure employment.
Clarkston High School, DeKalb School District

The convenient access to the metro-Atlanta job market, nearby highway system, and affordable housing that made Clarkston, DeKalb ideal for longtime residents were the factors that caused the city to be selected as the primary resettlement city for all of Georgia. Clarkston High School students come from more than 54 countries and speak over 48 languages. The US committee on Foreign Relations reported in 2010 that teachers and administrators are said to be failing to address the special needs of the refugee youth, in addition to the needs of the general student population. Consequently, the deteriorating condition of overall instruction has fuelled significant shifts in the demographics of Clarkston’s population.
DeKalb Schools’ Response

WSB reported that a spokesperson for DeKalb Schools said immigrants, refugees and children of non-English speaking families must register at the headquarters so they can be evaluated. The evaluation process takes time and their staffing only allows for 50- to 60 children each day. The school district did not have a suggestion for the parents, but noted this is likely not related to the surge of unaccompanied minors. The district routinely consists of thousands of immigrant students, making up about 20 percent of enrollment.

9 responses to “Hundreds of Immigrants Camping Out To Register Their Kids For School

  1. Atlanta Media Guy

    I am glad they are working to get their kids in school. However, will these kids have their immunizations up to date? Will these kids be checked up by a medical Doctor to make sure they are not a carrier of TB, Lice, Scabies, Measles, Mumps and other diseases, before they are placed into crowded classrooms? Are DCSS and DeKalb Health Officials doing everything they can to guard against the students and teachers from getting sick?

  2. DekalbCountySchools knows in advance that these children need to be processed, cleared, tested & assigned to specific schools and they only plan on 50-60 children per day? Why, all hands on deck! Allowing kids to sleep outside and then wait all day(s) is unexceptable.
    Did they not get the message that school is starting on Monday?

  3. I am one of DCSS’ biggest critics, but not sure the fault lies entirely with the school district. Registration has been ongoing all summer on specific dates/times. It is the parent/guardian responsibility to plan accordingly. And yes, it does take time to evaluate and register a non-English speaking child.

  4. Why are they showing up on DeKalb’s front door step all of a sudden? I haven’t heard anything from the state or the feds. I’m guessing the county is negotiating with the state and the state is negotiating with the feds. Either way, this is going to be expensive and will not reflect well on testing or graduation rates.

  5. There is no negotiating with the state. Funding is through the QBE formula which does not have a category for refugee or immigrant. The expenses have to be covered by the designation ESOL. That includes the expense to test and process all these children.
    I sent an email to the central office in May asking for an explanation of how the QBE formula is determined and administered. Still waiting on a reply.

  6. QBE is just state appropriations. Georgia receives discretionary refugee assistance grants, among many others, from the feds.
    Are these unaccompanied minors refugees? How do you tell the difference between an undocumented/illegal immigrant and a refugee? In May, the Departments of Justice and Education sent out a letter to all school districts reminding them of their obligation to provide equal educational opportunities under the law.
    Last week, the U.S. House approved a $694 million emergency spending bill to address the “immigration crisis” at the border, but I don’t think any of it will go to education around the country.

  7. George Chidi

    Quinn Hudson sent an initial press release describing the system’s intake procedures for “culturally and linguistically diverse” students … procedures that have left parents to sleep outside the central school office through the night to get registered.
    Pine Lake City Councilman George Chidi responded with the following message:

    “Quinn. Twenty percent of the student body meets the criteria for ‘culturally and linguistically diverse.’ 20,000 children. If the system has to register 2000 in a year — and I suspect the figure is higher — then you’re saying it would take 34 days to process all of them. 17 if half arrive during the summer. (I could start doing some queuing theory math and linear algebra to give you confidence bands, but this is probably good enough.)
    “And yet, here we are, with people sleeping on the sidewalk with little children, because the central office doesn’t know how to message effectively.
    “Your explanation of the policy about enrollment is lovely. It doesn’t explain the results. It’s ass-covering doublespeak. I will hear an explanation for how this happens and what the staff plans to do about it.”

  8. Central Office folks could have driven cars & met parents & children in local schools, near immigration communities. Central Office is in the middle of nowhere, especially when riding Marta.
    Also, why not work with community leaders and churches to provide a productive process.
    Now, it is Friday evening and I am wondering if Central Office will clock out at 4:30, step over sleeping wet kids, because they completed their 50 kids quota. This is inhumane & unthinkable!
    Where is Thurmond in all this? Dekalb CoSchools are mostly silent about most matters about any of their dealings.
    They can take lessons from APS, which communicates daily, throughout the day,using all types of communication avenues.
    Yes, DCS has sunk below APS.

  9. Please tell these illegals that it was Kasim Reed saying he welcomed all to Atlanta, not Lee May and Michael Thurmond.