Wednesday, January 11, 2012

School Board Meeting 1-10-2012: Board Supports The Dream Act for Illegal Immigrants

The Metro Board of Education passed at their January 10th School Board meeting a resolution expressing support for the Dream Act and calling upon the state legislature to support it. Astonishingly, this resolution passed with absolutely no discussion and it passed unanimously.

See 15:10 in the below video to watch the School Board in action on this issue.

The Dream Act would allow access to higher education for illegal alien young people who were brought to this country as children by their parents. Currently, while a public school system must educate children of illegal aliens through high school, a child who is an illegal alien may graduate high school with honors and then be unable to attend a state college on a scholarship and, if they try to pay their own way, they can not get the in-state tuition rate. The Dream Act would allow illegal immigrant children to attend college on the same terms as citizens and if they completed college they would then be allowed to become American Citizens. Another provision of the Dream Act says that if illegal alien young adults brought to this country as children by their parents, will honorably serve in the US military, they may be granted citizenship. I do not know what were the specifics of the resolution the School Board adopted. 

Many people view the Dream Act as amnesty and it is controversial. Quite frankly, I favor some form of the Dream Act. For those who were brought here as children and have been educated in an American public school, upon graduation I think it is shameful that they are then told they can not legally get a job or go to school. They are Americanized. Culturally they are Americans. Many have only a vague memory of their home country if any memory at all. They may not even speak their native language. It is time for at least a little compassion. Having said that however, I am appalled that no one on the School Board even thought this resolution was worthy of discussion. You would think that out of a nine member board there would be at least one person who would make the "this-is-amnesty" argument. You would think there would be at least one member who would say, "let us defer this a meeting and think about it." You would think some one would ask what are the specifics of what we are endorsing. While  I support the Dream Act for a very young child, I am not so sure I support if for a "child" just a day shy of 18 or 21. We have way too much group-think on the Metro School Board and we have too few inquiring minds.

In other action 

The Board voted to support lowering the teacher-student ratio for English-learner population from 30 to 20 in the Basic Education Program funding formula. (16:17) This is explained.

Michael W. Hayes
Charter Schools: A resolution is presented opposing a state proposal to allow multiple charter school "authorizers." (See 21:49) Apparently, some school districts are so opposed to charter schools that they routinely reject all proposals. At the state level their is a proposal that would allow the state to authorize charter schools. The "advocacy" committee of the School Board had recommended this resolution opposing multiple authorizers unanimously. School Board Member Michael W. Haynes spoke in opposition to the proposal arguing the advantages of entrepreneurial charter schools and the need for multiple authorizers. Member North argued in favor of the resolution. The vote was 8 for the resolution and only Haynes voting in opposition. I am impressed by Michael Haynes. At least there is one independent voice on the school board.

There is a presentation and lengthy discussion of the advance placement course program. Again, Mr. Haynes distinguishes himself by asking probing and insightful questions. 

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