Readin’ and Writin’ and Lousy ‘Rithmetic


Christopher Kieras of Seymour, Connecticut, may have fibbed about his residency when he enrolled his daughter in an elementary school in Westport. That’s what the school district said when they sued Mr. Kieras back in June to recover $27,911 in tuition. Actually, the district which investigates more than 30 student residency cases each school year wants to recoup triple the tuition as damages.

familiesonlinemagazine.comIt seems the Kieras’ daughter is an illegal alien in Westport.

Oh. Sorry. An undocumented child.

Meanwhile, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August that Alabama public schools can’t check the citizenship status of new students. That’s unconstitutional, the federal appeals court said.

Judges said fear of the law “significantly deters undocumented children from enrolling in and attending school ….”

Say what?

If the results in Westport and other Connecticut towns are any indicator, illegal aliens darned well should be afraid. After all, if we don’t let kids from the next town into our local schools, we certainly can’t let kids from the next country!

Oh. Wait. We really don’t let kids from the next town into our local schools but kids from the next country get a free hall pass.

Connecticut’s neighboring Weston school district now requires deeds or lease records, or statements from landlords. Here in Vermont, residents have to declare their homestead on their income tax returns — the form includes a box for school district, too. The Weston school district (and the Vermont Department of Taxes) better watch out that the American Civil Liberties Union doesn’t take us all to task over the Connecticut version of “show-me-your-papers.”

“Nobody quarrels with wanting the best for your children,” school district attorney Catherine S. Nietzel said, “but it’s not fair for people who do pay taxes and part of those taxes are used for schools.” OK, nobody but the ACLU. And the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Imagine that.

6 thoughts on “Readin’ and Writin’ and Lousy ‘Rithmetic

  1. According to the Miami Herald two weeks ago, many Florida school districts have no way to know whether K12 students are actually being taught by properly certified teachers.

    Hello? Since it is required that the K12 teachers show their certificates to get their jobs how could the schools not know???

    Oh. Wait.

    I guess that would be axing them for their papers.

  2. My good — illegal Colombian — friend Ulysis Yamana came to this country twice. He was caught and deported the first time at age 13, but made it through at 15 and enrolled in high school. He was 21 when he finally graduated and could barely speak English. Last time I saw him, he was wearing a high-intensity yellow vest and cutting grass along the highway.

    I was once quoted in a prestigeous scholastic journal as having said: “The difference between public school and homeschoool is that in public school the teacher must be certified but the child need not learn. In homeschool, the teacher need not be certified, but the child must learn.”

    It is true. School districts demand that homeschooled kids be proficient per stringent testing, yet they allow their own classroom waifs to parade with cap and gown without due credentials.

    — George

  3. My bestie homeschooled her children a long time before switching them over to public. The contrast is unbelievable. Unfortunately, very few parents have the resources or the temperament to homeschool. So children are taught by parents to rely on teachers, and by teachers to rely on parents, and only by hard experience, if they’re lucky, to rely on themselves.

  4. @Don: “The contrast [homeschooled] is unbelievable.”

    Absolutely. Homeschooling can be richer and invariably proceeds at a faster pace. The only criticism, that fundamentalist parents ignore science, is largely outweighed by ,ore inclusive standards for the homeschooled kids than the public schooled.

    @Don: “…if they’re lucky, to rely on themselves.”

    Although you’re right about the lack of TIME, resources and temperament to homeschool, I disagree that that by itself leads to parents who teach kids to rely on teachers, teachers who teach them to rely on parents, and nobody who can teach them to rely on themselves. All of those outcomes are likely true but I don’t see the cause-effect relationship with either traditional classroom or homeschool education. Rather, it’s the current pass-the-buck human condition.

    Still, homeschooling doesn’t answer the question of whether an illegal alien should be allowed in your neighborhood school, whether they come from the next Town or the next country.

  5. I should think the contrast could be packaged and presented in court to some effect, provided, as courts demand, every single detail leading up to the presentation is exactly right. The situation is clearly unjust, if not actually upside down.

  6. It’s simple. Federalize all schools, paid for through federal taxes, structured by the feds, and manned by the TSA. Permit undocumented children and children from whatever town or city or burgh or “Occupy” tent into whichever school his or her parents desire.

    Also supplement/fund — again with taxpayer money — homeschooling parents, enabling at least one parent to not work outside the home.

    And, tax the bejeebers out of the nations whose undocumented offspring are swelling our schools, using the presently unemployed as ad hoc national guardsmen sent to ensure payment from said nation is forthcoming, and use that income to fund the new schooling plan.

    Some kids will be in the public schools. Many will be homeschooled.

    And, finally, set up a series of televised intelligence game shows pitting the homeschooled against the public schooled children, with fabulous cash prizes going to the parents of the winners. Have the 1%-ers fund that, cuz they’re gonna get to hire the winners and make even more fabulous billions.

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