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Do These Families Feel "Welcomed" at DeKalb County's Schools?

Georgia counties where 50 or more unaccompanied minors were released from Jan. 1 through July, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services Administration for Children & Families.
Cherokee County 65
Cobb County 138
DeKalb County 347
Fulton County 64
Gwinnett County 266
Hall County 85

WHO knows the truth about what is happening in our schools and how quickly are they acting to protect their own neighborhoods, drawing their own borders and leaving everyone else holding the education tab for the immigrant population THEY helped bring here?    Do the new city proponents claim to know anything about a city - school connection?  Or do they do the typical political double speak and merely deny, deny, deny?  WHAT do they know that they are not telling the rest of us?  WHO do they know and HOW will they benefit?  If you do not know the answers then you are probably on the losing end of someone else's big stick!

By Mike Morris and John Spink
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hudson said the process can take time and that the district can only handle about 60 kids a day. At least 150 were in line Friday morning, and most were being sent home.

“We have to check where they came from, we have to check immunization records, health records, family records,” he said. “It’s very time-consuming just to check the records, and once we do that, then we have to test the child. We have to find out what level that they’re at, what would be the best school for them to go to.”
Officials measure English and academic proficiency to determine appropriate placement. It can take several hours to test each child. Processing the paperwork takes additional time.
The center gives numbers to the first arrivals and anyone without one is asked to leave.
“We’ve explained this many, many times to people who contact us,” Hudson said. “It does no good to get here early in the morning or to spend the night. In fact, it actually is a problem for the children because if the child’s been sleeping on asphalt all night, they’re not going to test very well.”
DeKalb historically has accommodated a large number of immigrant students because Clarkston, in the middle of the county, is a national refugee relocation site. Several non-governmental organizations help newcomers settle in. There are also plenty of immigrants who come on their own. The district has students from more than 160 countries, who speak more than 140 languages, though Spanish is the predominant tongue.
Hudson said the district has no way of immediately knowing whether the crush of aspiring students had anything to do with the rush of unaccompanied minors on the nation’s southern border. But he said the children appeared to be with parents.
“There is no indication at all that this has anything to do with the border thing,” Hudson said.

An outraged city councilman blasted the DeKalb County schools spokesman in an email after around 150 people camped outside of the school district headquarters Thursday night waiting to register their children for school.

Open registration began Tuesday, Aug. 5, for students meeting the following criteria:
  • Students whose primary home language is other than English (PHLOTEs)
  • Students whose first language is other than American English
  • Students who were born outside the United States whose primary home language is other than American English.
Some of the parents had been camped out since 8 p.m. Thursday.

DeKalb County Schools PIO Quinn Hudson said the International Welcome Center at headquarters is open year-round to process international students.

Hudson said someone in the community started a rumor that kids needed to be processed by Monday, the start of the school year, in order to be enrolled.

"I think every child needs to go to school. That's the reason I've been here," said parent Philippe Alexis.

Due to staffing limitations, they normally process 50 to 60 students per day.

Upon hearing of the backup, Pine Lake City Councilman George Chidi sent an angry letter to Hudson:

"Quinn. Twenty percent of the student body meets the criteria for 'culturally and linguistically diverse.' 20,000 children. If the system has to register 20,000 in a year -- and I suspect the figure is higher -- then you're saying it would take 34 days to process all of them. 17 if half arrive during the summer. (I could start doing some queuing theory math and linear algebra to give you confidence bands, but this is probably good enough.)

"And yet, here we are, with people sleeping on the sidewalk with little children, because the central office doesn't know how to message effectively.

"Your explanation of the policy about enrollment is lovely. It doesn't explain the results. It's ass-covering doublespeak. I will hear an explanation for how this happens and what the staff plans to do about it."

Chidi said he didn't mean to send the email to the media, but said he meant what he said.

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