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Can you provide me with some information on immigration education?

I would like to send my child to school in Virginia. However, as I have no legal citizenship, I don’t know how I can do that. Some of my friends told me that there are provisions for immigrant children’s education. Is it true? Where can I find some information on immigration education and the legal formalities involved in it? What financial support, like grants and scholarships, is available for immigrant children? Can you give me some important information I should know about immigration and schools as an immigrant who wants to educate his child? Thank you for your help.

Jan Berry

in Study Abroad

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Ralph Lopez on May 24, 2018

Well, your desire to educate your child is highly appreciated. Luckily, Virginia has a very open attitude towards immigrant children who are undocumented. The following is a list of important guidelines available from the Education for Immigrant Students and Children of Immigrants Advisory issued by the Legal Aid Justice Center in January 2018.

Firstly, it states that all Virginia school divisions have the responsibility to provide K-12 education to all school-age children irrespective of their immigration status. The only point of consideration is that the student should be a bona fide resident of that school division. However, you do not need to worry that your child will not come under “bona fide” category. Your child comes under this category because it is stated in the advisory that all children are bona fide residents as far as they do not live in the division solely for school purposes. Therefore, your child is entitled to get a tuition-free education in Virginia school divisions. You can access this resource at https://www.justice4all.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Enrollment-Practice-Guide_Final_1-8-18.pdf

Now, let’s see some possible financial and other assistance available for these children. Firstly, according to Title I Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the immigrant children who attend high-poverty schools (Title I schools) are entitled to financial support as offered in Title I Part A services. In addition, there is Migrant Education Programs (MEP). These funds are offered to states for the purpose of supporting children who are migratory agricultural workers or fishers themselves or have moved with a guardian who is a migratory agricultural worker or fisher.

In addition to all these, your child may find assistance under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act as well. This act is intended to give assistance to the homeless children and youth with educational services, health care services, dental services, mental health services and all other appropriate services. Along with homeless children, children who are sharing the housing with others who are also eligible for this assistance.

Well, there are many more sources to gather information. But the reality is that a parent who is not a legal citizen in the US is already under pressure and may not have enough patience to read and understand all these sources about education for immigrants. So, I think you should find a lawyer who deals with the education for immigrant children. However, it is for you to talk to the lawyer and check whether you can afford the cost involved. If you decide to go ahead, a good lawyer specialized in schools and immigration will easily guide you through all the formalities and make you aware of the possible assistance from government and private organizations. 

 

Ronald Millera year ago

Well, I reached the US about seven years back, and at that time, I searched for the same information everywhere because I wanted to educate my son. However, despite spending so many days looking for resources, I could find very little about the legalities involved and the resources and support available. After spending many days in futile search and trying to assimilate what I read and saw unsuccessfully, I finally decided to depend on a lawyer. That lawyer was an expert in immigration education and he helped my son join a public school and enjoy all the financial and other forms of assistance offered by the federal and state governments. That’s why I would recommend you to hire a lawyer. However, make sure that your lawyer is an expert in this area and you can afford the cost involved. The best strategy is to talk to a number of lawyers about your problem and understand the estimated cost and time duration. Then select the lawyer who you find affordable, experienced, and easy to communicate with. 


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