Dones: Education costs for ELL students in Summit County |

Dones: Education costs for ELL students in Summit County

Courtney Dones
Rimrock, Ariz., and Silverthorne

This letter rides on the coattails of recent discussions of raising property or sales tax for daycare in Breckenridge, which seems to point at a larger issue of how much money this county pours into subsidizing immigrant workers. Our property taxes pay for public school, which enrolled 768 ELL kids (24 percent of the 3100 students) for whom we paid a staggering $5.15 million ($6,700 per student) last year. We will pay $5.28 million this year to babysit 788 ELL kids, plus free lunch.

Categorically, “English Language Learners” are not born in US, or native language is not English, or is migratory and comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant, and has sufficient difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language, and whose difficulties may deny such individual the opportunity to learn successfully in classrooms.

How do 800 revolving ELL kids show up at the door of our local school every year? They are brought here by their parents by no fault of their own. We need to stop hosting illegal immigration:

* Hire locally: Employers must sign an I-9 and an “Affirmation of Legal Work Status.” Did you? Did your employer?

* Rent locally: Take down the waving “Se Habla Espanol” flags and rent to someone who wants to be here because it’s awesome.

* Give locally: Take care of our own; let all that we give in canned food, toy drives and free coats benefit a local family.

* Teach locally: Why is the district’s priority to get ELL kids to fluency in two years…they don’t stick around that long…and we’re left with exhausted teachers, bulging class sizes, pathetic test scores, and two unaccredited elementary schools.

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