What’s Wrong with Educating Mexican Children in US Public Schools?

LatinaLista — As everyone across the country waited today to see just how many marchers will try to duplicate last year’s stunning success of the immigration marches, an article that appeared in the media yesterday seemed to fan the divisional flames of this ongoing debate.

The article detailed how children from Mexico were making the trek from their homes to cross the border to attend US schools.


Father walks daughter across border to attend an El Paso school.
(Source: Houston Chronicle)

According to the article, there are so many students coming across to attend public schools that in El Paso border officials opened a special lane just for students at one of the crossings.

Yet, not all the students are attending public elementary or high schools. Some are also attending private schools and are college students as well.

The children are able to attend these schools because they either have a relative or their family still owns property that is in the school’s target zone, and they use these addresses.

Why?

Because these families want their children to have a good education and the schools that service them along the border in Mexico are overcrowded and equipped with either outdated or incomplete materials.

As one father who regularly walks his 6-year-old across the border said, “As a parent,it doesn’t matter if you don’t make it, just as long as your children do.”

As can be imagined, people who live far from the border or who are not familiar with the inter-dependence that border communities have with one another are in an outcry and feel that US taxpayers are getting the short end of the deal.

And that’s reasonable, but educating these children who want an education and whose parents recognize that a US education makes all the difference for their children’s future is something that needs to be explored as either a joint project or a new business opportunity.

Having a hand in educating our neighboring country’s future generation is a win-win situation for our country’s economic future.

No one said these children are staying in the United States.

That these families are content to return to Mexico and the children apply the lessons learned in our schools back home has great potential for Mexico and the United States.

The possibility that future leaders of Mexico will have an American education makes for a scenario of greater cooperation between two countries who will definitely need one another in the years to come. The cooperation will be easier to sustain because both sides will “understand” one another better.

To ease our own taxpayers’ worries, a special pact could be worked out perhaps where the Mexican government and/or the families themselves contribute something (if they are not already paying property taxes) for the education. It would have to be low enough to be affordable, otherwise it would just be private school tuition.

Or some creative person could set up a school on the Mexican side following the US curriculum supplemented with hte necessary books and equipment to mimic our education. Hopefully, the school could be funded with donated monies.

Obviously, both options need to be fleshed out but the bottom line is that educating Mexican children is not the end of the world for our country —

It can be a whole new beginning.

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