More than one-fifth of non-English speaking illegal immigrant children are being thrown into special education English courses in the Boston school system, bleeding taxpayers and stealing educational opportunities from hundreds of other students.
Teachers have been senselessly placing students who speak little to no English in special education classes, thinking that the kids just need a little push with mentoring to get their English skills up to par — when in reality they come from households and countries that don’t speak English, the Boston Herald reported.
According to the report, most of the students being placed in the special classes are able to speak bits of conversational English, yet often fail to comprehensively grasp the language, and need far more than just special education classes to converse like a native speaker.
“Part of the problem is the parents don’t speak English or know what’s going on,” Yael Zakon-Bourke of the Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education told the Boston Herald. “They’re just being told that their children need extra help. The problem is they may not be getting the extra help they need.”
Even though Boston public schools are facing slashed budgets, the number of students getting additional and costly special educations continues to rise every year, wasting taxpayer’s cash and preventing hundreds of other students who actually need special education courses from getting what they deserve.
The Boston Public School system says that the way to correct the mistakes of placing non-English speaking kids in special education classes is to cater to them and hire “qualified bilingual assessors.”
“This is a stress on the entire system, and it is a stress that we need to have a conversation with our state and federal partners about resolving,” Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash told the Boston Herald in an earlier report about the influx of non-English speaking students migrating to the Boston area.
According to a study out of the University of Massachusetts Boston, the percentage of students learning English who also take special education classes has radically risen from 9.8 percent in 2001 to 16.5 percent in 2013. This number is bound to increase when 1,000 illegal immigrant children arrive in Massachusetts after they are released from border facilities — leading people to believe that more tax money will be needed to educate the illegal children. (RELATED: Democratic Massachusetts Governor Links Holocaust To Border Crisis)
“It is shocking to me,” Maria Serpa, a bilingual education professor at Lesley University told the Boston Herald. “Unfortunately, based on the information I have, this still seems to be a problem.”