Public schools in Tucson and beyond may be overcrowded, understaffed and being stripped of cash, staff and programs.

Skool daze/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Skool daze/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

But those crowded and under-funded schools need to be open to everyone, including illegal immigrant children.

Why?

The U.S. Supreme Court says.

Education is a necessity for creating a somewhat coherent society. Perhaps this Supreme Court decision of 1982 has been a wholly beneficial move – or maybe it’s making a mess.

Find out at a free community forum on Thursday, Sept. 17 entitled: “Education for All; Reflections on the Impact of Plyler v. Doe on Arizona’s Public Schools.” The forum runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the James E. Rogers College of Law, 1201 E. Speedway Blvd. in room 164.

In December 1982, the US Supreme Court ruled that the State of Texas had unlawfully withheld state funds for educating children who had not been legally admitted to the United States, thus preventing those children from enrolling.

A 5 to 4 majority of the Supreme Court found, in Plyler v. Doe, that this policy was in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, as illegal immigrant children are people “in any ordinary sense of the term” and are therefore entitled not to suffer discrimination with regard to school enrollment, according to a news release from Arizona’s Children Association/KARE Family Center, one of the forum’s sponsors.

Judge Linda Reyna Yañez, of the Thirteenth District Court of Appeals in Edinburg, Texas, will be the main speaker and joined by local panelists who include Dr. Celestino Fernandez from the University of Arizona Sociology Department; Lupita Cavazos-Garcia, assistant superintendent for Government Programs and Community Outreach; and U.S. Marine and college student Juan R. Yañez (no relation to speaker).

Other sponsors include Primavera Foundation for the Homeless, the James E. Rogers College of Law, Bacon Immigration Law and Policy Program, and Goldman and Goldman PC.

For more information, contact the KARE Family Center at 323-4476, ext. 102.

I’m mixed on this one. My initial reaction is to say that American children, with parents who pay taxes, should come first. But I can also see disaster on the horizon if people who end up living in America, regardless of how they got here, end up living here with no education.

wb-logolilWhat do you think?

Public education for all?

Or public education for all, as long as the parents pay taxes?

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What do you think?