Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Despite Immigration Law, Alabama’s Latino Enrollment Holds Steady

I’ve been wondering about the classroom impact of new laws cracking down on illegal immigration that have been passed in Alabama, Georgia, Arizona and in municipalities across the country.

According to this Associate Press story, Alabama’s law seems to have had little impact on Latino enrollment. So far, school districts are reporting no drop in the number of Latino students, despite a provision in that law which requires schools to determine the immigration status of students.

However, advocates point out that the numbers might be high now because parents are rushing to enroll children before the law takes effect on Sept. 1.

As the school year plays out, it would be smart to keep an eye on the Latino enrollment trend in districts where such immigration laws have been passed or are being considered. If you haven’t already done so, education writers should also make an effort to build sources among immigrant advocacy organizations, which are often best attuned to the concerns and fears of immigrant families. They could lead you to unexpected stories.