The Texas public education system is grappling with a substantial influx of students from immigrant households (both legal and illegal). This surge has ushered in significant financial and cultural challenges. According to a recent report from the Center for Immigration Studies, the number of public school students from immigrant households in Texas has sharply risen from 17% in 1990 to 31% in 2021. This pronounced shift in demographics is triggering financial implications for Texas’s already strained education system.
Within the 31% of immigrant households in 2021’s public schools nationwide, an estimated 29% is composed of illegal aliens This suggests nearly one in every eleven (8.9%) students in American schools could be an illegal alien. As of 2023, Texas’ statewide public school enrollment reached an estimated 5.5 million, implying around 489,500 illegal aliens are attending Texas public schools based on the national average. Multiplying that figure by the state cost per pupil, which is roughly $6,160, the total cost to educate these students could be $3.015 billion*. Even this estimate most likely underestimates the actual cost due to the illegal alien population in Texas being seven times larger than that of the average U.S. state.
This impact reaches beyond immediate educational expenditures, affecting resource allocation, infrastructure, and staffing needs. A pertinent case is evident in Cleveland ISD (CISD) due to the Colony Ridge development, which could house 75,000 illegal aliens in Plum Grove, Texas. CISD’s student enrollment has tripled in ten years, with projections indicating a 119% increase in the next decade. As a response to the influx, the school board has proposed a $125 million bond and hired foreign-born visa workers to cope with the rising population.
Covering the costs of illegal aliens to attend public schools only adds insult to injury for the taxpayers who are already forced to shoulder the costs of medical care for illegal aliens and see their own wages decrease as a result of illegal workers.
*Please note that this calculation is based on 2021 numbers. The true illegal alien population of Texas is likely substantially higher based on both time and the unprecedented invasion of illegal aliens since 2021.