The new Arizona immigration law has really stirred up nationwide controversy, and the big majority of the American people like that law. Similar laws have been introduced in 20 other states.
Arizona now has another bill in the pipeline that could be just as controversial. Senate Bill 1097 would require public schools to report the number of illegal alien children in their student populations, and to provide an estimate of the cost of educating them. The legislation does not require schools to deny public schooling to children who are not citizens, but may provide the basis for the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider its 1982 decision that we must admit alien kids to public schools. That case is called Plyer vs. Doe, a 5-to-4 decision which ruled that Texas could not deny education funding for students who were in Texas illegally. The Court's majority admitted that public education is not a fundamental right, but said that, because Texas failed to prove that educating alien kids in public schools caused "any significant burden to the state's economy," denying school to illegals would not advance any "substantial goal of the state."
Well, that conclusion may have been true in 1982 when there were very few illegals in Texas, but it's a mighty different matter in 2010 in Arizona, or Texas, California, Nevada, Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah and Georgia. Today, it is a significant financial burden to each one of those states with high illegal alien populations. Some people think that if Arizona can prove that educating a large proportion of illegal students puts an undue hardship on the taxpayers, the Supreme Court might consider revisiting this issue. In any event, this case will show the public how much Americans are paying to give schooling to illegal aliens.
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