January 2019: School Administrator


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Editor's Note

Immigrants and Refugees

THE NATION’S POLITICAL DEBATE over immigration bears mightily on the affairs of public education. This is not a new phenomenon, but the heightened and anguished attention during the past two years has elevated the schools’ role in serving the youngest transplants in our country.

So it made sense, in this issue devoted to global and multicultural topics, to shine some attention on a handful of school communities and their leaders in disparate places across the nation who are willingly engaged in the immigration issues. The result is an article by freelance education writer Scott Lafee that we’ve titled “In Defense and Defiance Behind Immigrant Students.”

Lafee writes about the attitudes and approaches of school system leaders, including a school board president, in three locations — near the Texas border with Mexico, a central California agricultural district and an urban district in Maine — to highlight how each is acting to support the education of undocumented children in their schools.

It is worth reminding those across the political spectrum that the U.S. Supreme Court some 37 years ago settled the law governing the rights of immigrant and refugee children to a free public K-12 education (Plyler v. Doe, 1982). How to best address these children remains the duty of those leading the local schools.

Jay P. Goldman
Editor, School Administrator

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