Immigrant Education

Federal Funding Has Not Kept Pace With Student Increases Gao ID: T-HEHS-94-146 April 14, 1994

More than two million immigrant students enrolled in the nation's schools during the past decade. The geographic concentration of these students has increased the financial burden of some school districts. This testimony focuses on a March 1991 report (GAO/HRD-91-50) on the Emergency Immigrant Education Act Program. GAO discusses the following key findings: (1) program funds are provided to school districts with large numbers of immigrant students; (2) program funding is not keeping pace with the increasing number of eligible students; and (3) many students eligible for program funds also participate in other federally funded education programs, but estimates are hard to obtain. Proposed legislative changes in allocating program funding must consider that immigrant students pose costly and increasing challenges for many districts but that chances are slim for substantially increased federal appropriations. H.R. 6 funding provisions run the risk of allowing per student funding to decline to the point that program funding could have little impact. S. 1513 could concentrate needed assistance, but also eliminate funding for many districts that find even small amounts of aid to be critical.

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