Horne seeks federal cash to pay for teaching migrant children
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 15, 2005


As Congress debates immigration reform, Arizona schools chief Tom Horne (right) figures it's a good time to ask the federal government to reimburse schools $750 million a year for the cost of educating kids who are in the state illegally.
In a news release issued Wednesday, Horne said the Pew Research Center estimates there are 125,000 such students among Arizona's 1 million and the state spends about $6,000 per student. Pew Center analyst Jeffrey Passel cited one problem with the estimated cost: The 125,000 is the number of students whose parents are here illegally. More than half of the kids were born here and are U.S. citizens. That would put the cost at about $360 million.
Horne, the state superintendent of public instruction, said that is splitting hairs. "It's the federal government's fault the undocumented parents crossed over, and had they not done so, we would not be presented with these students."