As the number of low-income immigrant households increases, the strain on Texas public schools escalates, leading to limited educational opportunities for native-born students and an artificial rise in public education costs. This situation is further exacerbated by the absence of tax contributions from these households, compounding the already evident burden. Addressing this issue is crucial for effectively educating our students and fostering a cohesive national and cultural identity in step with our values.
While Texas legislators have often failed to pass legislation in the best interests of Texans, especially in the case of our civil affairs, it is important to recognize they are not solely to blame. Texas has witnessed a continuous stream of court decisions, such as Plyler v. Doe, Prop 187, and Arizona v. U.S. These decisions have ruled in favor of opening our borders and our state institutions. Since the passing of the Hart-Cellar Act in 1965, our immigration system has opened up to more than 70 million legal immigrants. The negative consequences that have unfolded in Texas schools and communities over the last six decades due to mass immigration are catastrophic.
This history shows us Texas cannot afford to rely on D.C. in any capacity to take action to protect public schools from the harms of illegal immigration. In fact they have shown themselves to be actively opposed to solving this problem. In light of this, responsibility of reclaiming our cultural identity in public schools lies with Texas and its people.
According to a 2021 study from FAIR, Texas has over 1 million students with Low English Proficiency. The current system allows ESL students to receive up to seven years of tutelage, enabling them to avoid full immersion in English-only instruction in a timely manner. This ultimately slows the process of assimilation, bringing it to a halt when many of these students do not speak English regularly at home. Furthermore, school districts in Texas have sponsored foreign nationals as teachers through specialist worker visas, and a growing number of illegal aliens are admitted into public schools creating a cycle of immigrant-teaching-immigrants. Texas cannot sustain such a system if it wishes to preserve the civic and cultural values that have made us a great state. Therefore, these mentioned standards need to soon become taboos.
As Texans, it is our responsibility to reclaim and promote our cultural identity within the public school system. This endeavor begins by reforming the Education Code to: ban illegal aliens from public schools (challenging the precedent set by the Plyler v. Doe ruling), expedite the assimilation of immigrant students by replacing ESL instruction with intensive sheltered English immersion programs for non-English fluent children (similar to Prop 228), and incentivize the development of a strong native-born teacher workforce, primed to educate the next generation and negating the need to hire foreign nationals in the first place. Texas should also simultaneously restrict school districts from employing foreign nationals to ensure our educational institutions are entrusted to our own citizens.
The Texas of tomorrow is forged within our schools and communities today. It is of utmost importance our classrooms are populated with individuals at all levels who not only understand but cherish and uphold our values.