Immigrant Education:

Federal Funding Has Not Kept Pace With Student Increases

T-HEHS-94-146: Published: Apr 14, 1994. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 1994.

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GAO discussed the reauthorization of the Emergency Immigrant Education Act (EIEA) Program. GAO noted that: (1) EIEA funds are provided to school districts with large numbers of immigrant students; (2) the geographical concentration of immigrant children has increased the financial burden of some school districts; (3) EIEA program funding has not kept pace with the increasing number of eligible students; (4) many students eligible for the EIEA program also participate in other federally-funded educational programs, but estimates are difficult to obtain; (5) immigrant students are often poor and have significant health and emotional needs; (6) 78 percent of all immigrant students living in the United States for 3 years or less attend school in just 5 states, with 45 percent enrolled in California public schools; (7) EIEA authorizes a maximum annual appropriation of $500 for each student in participating school districts; (8) participating schools can use EIEA funds to benefit any or all of their students, provided the services are related to the educational needs of EIEA students; (9) in school year 1984 through 1985, participating school districts received about $86 per EIEA student, but this per student allocation declined to $27 in school year 1993 through 1994; and (10) most EIEA funds supporting academic instructional programs are used for staff salaries and benefits.

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