Last Week’s Best Articles | Public Schools and DACA Edition

Our team is always seeking the latest news in the field of education. As advocates for a quality education for ALL students, we know we have to stay up-to-date on everything that’s going on in the education spheres of our nation…from the White House to the local public school district, from new legislation to the small acts of bravery and kindness made by a single teacher, from the milestones and celebrations to the hazardous injustices affecting many of our nations students.

This week, we’re focused on the widespread impact DACA’s (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) expiration will have on millions of students and families in our public schools and the teachers who serve these students, especially in school districts already serving a disproportionate number of low-income students and students of color.

As Americans and people of faith, we believe standing with these teachers and young people, praying for them, and taking action on their behalf is a matter of urgent moral concern.

Nearly 9,000 DACA Teachers Face An Uncertain Future via NPR

School districts in Texas and across the country have hired teachers covered by DACA on the condition that they renew their work permit every two years, as the program requires. But last September, after President Trump announced he was shutting down DACA, these teachers suddenly found the safety and security the program had offered up in the air.

“I try to remain positive and compose myself every day with my students,” says Maria Rocha, a teacher in San Antonio, TX, “because I talk to them about their future and yet I don’t know my own.”

Denver Public Schools says ending DACA would have “catastrophic” effect via Denver Post

DPS was the first school district in the nation to hire teachers under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, said DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg. Many are outstanding teachers who relate well to students new to the United States, he said, and deporting them would be “catastrophic for DPS and the city of Denver.”

“The DACA program has helped bring wonderfully talented and critically needed teachers to our classrooms and has provided peace of mind and legal status to thousands of immigrant children and families who make our city and our schools great,” Boasberg said.

With Rollback of DACA, ‘Dreamers’ in U.S. Schools Prepare for a Fight via Education Week

The day after the Trump administration’s announcement to rescind DACA, an Obama-era program that shields some young immigrants from deportation, high school math teacher Jose Gonzalez—an undocumented immigrant himself—faced classrooms full of middle school students terrified that either they or relatives could face immediate deportation.

Roughly 250,000 school-age children have become DACA-eligible since President Barack Obama began the program five years ago, the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute estimates.

One thing to read this week…

American Dreamers via The New York Times

“In August 2015, I started teaching. I also met the man that would become the love of my life. I had a new life in a new state and I was all by myself for the first time ever, and I couldn’t be more excited.

I’ve been teaching middle school since then, and I love it. My kids are amazing. They drive me nuts on any given day, but I love them.

DACA gave me my independence back. It’s the single reason I am able to teach, and live on my own, and pay for my car, and feel like I belong in the country I have lived in for 15 years.

Knowing that I could lose all the freedom I’ve gained is a paralyzing fear. I’ve worked so hard, and my life was just coming together, and now it might fall apart again.” – Julia Verzbickis – Teacher from San Antonio, Tex.

Did any of these articles particularly speak to you? We would love to know your thoughts! Let us know in the comments below:

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