Teachers betray local students, favor immigrants

  • Saturday, April 17, 2021 1:30am
  • Opinion

Under the guise of the “This is not who we are. America is better than this” language spoken by President Biden, no accommodation is too generous for Northern Triangle migrants.

To gauge how much taxpayers are required to tolerate while underwriting an endless stream of affirmative benefits offered to recently arrived migrant noncitizens, turn to San Diego. For more than a year, some 130,000 children enrolled in the San Diego Unified School District have been relegated to remote, online education. School administrators blame the COVID-19 pandemic, and have insisted that for the teachers’ personal safety, and in the best interests of their students, remote learning is mandatory.

Imagine, then, the shock parents must have experienced when they learned that teachers would be instructing young migrants in person at the San Diego Convention Center where they’re currently housed.

In other words, teaching in person is OK, but only if the students are foreign nationals and not San Diego’s kids.

During his interview with the national media, Reopen California Schools founder Jonathan Zachreson said that the confirmed COVID-19 infection rate among the immigrant children the teachers will be instructing is 9 percent. But among the San Diego students the teachers have betrayed, the infection rate is a microscopic .0018 percent.

In its statement to the press, the San Diego County Office of Education wrote, “We also have a moral obligation to ensure a bright future for our children,” an apparent reference to the migrants. They didn’t mention concern for the San Diego students whose futures have been harmed, perhaps irreparably, by the county’s year-long stay-at-home order.

San Diego schools tentatively will shift this month to hybrid learning while the in-person migrant program will remain active through July.

Shortly after district officials confirmed the return date, teachers pushed back. An internal union email that Voice of San Diego obtained showed the teachers are hedging on the date, and suggested that classroom conditions are not yet safe for returning. The email read, in part, “Any date for a required return is a projection and not set in stone.”

To restate the obvious: the teachers and their union throw up flimsy objections to educating San Diego’s citizen children, but don’t hesitate to sign up to instruct Mexican and Central American migrants.

The Office of Education stressed that its illegal immigrant education program will emphasize English as a Second Language and social-emotional learning opportunities, a direct slap in the face to San Diego’s enrolled thousands of limited English speakers and special needs students.

Statewide, California’s quality of education has been in freefall for decades. In the 1960s, California had the nation’s most efficient and most admired K-12 public school system. But in 1978, Proposition 13 cut property taxes and, as a result, slashed counties’ available funds for school construction and upkeep.

Today, California has more than 6.1 million students enrolled in nearly 11,000 campuses. For more than a year, the majority have been denied an in-person public education, a lost school year that can never be recovered. But for frustrated, furious parents to realize that teachers’ priority is educating unaccompanied, illegally present foreign national asylum seekers while their children’s academic needs are neglected is a burdensome reality to cope with.

In his press release, California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa sided with the parents. Said Issa: “The decision to provide in-person instruction to illegal migrants is outrageous and parents have every right to be angry.”

Summarizing, teachers refused to return to their contracted jobs until, first, they were vaccinated, received more money, and COVID cases fell. Now the teachers have been vaccinated, California schools got $15.3 billion as their part of the American Rescue Plan Act, and cases have plunged. Yet, the teachers still don’t want to go to their San Diego classrooms.

Such is the state of things in California, and in today’s Washington, D.C., where the illegal immigrant is preferred to the citizen.

Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at jguzzardi@pfirdc.org.

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