Schools Report Declining Enrollment

New immigration laws cited for fewer youngsters
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2007 6:26 PM CDT
Carlos Figueroa teaches a fourth grade reading class for speakers of other languages at Engelwood Elementary School in Orlando, Florida, on October 1, 2003.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Student enrollment is down at schools across Arizona, California and Texas—especially at those with high Hispanic populations.  Why? Some cite the sudden dearth of construction jobs as the housing boom has petered out. But anecdotal evidence points to immigration crackdowns, and school districts are feeling the effects: Mesa, AZ, for instance, is looking at $5.6 million less funding this year because of dwindling attendance.

Experts say the 1% to 4% drop in student body is traceable to government raids on undocumented workers and to 1,200 local anti-immigrant measures, the Christian Science Monitor reports. One expert said that even legal aliens are running scared, as a hostile environment “put the fear of God” in them.