El Paso school districts have no idea how many new students fled Juárez
Read it all, but slowly so you catch all the acronyms.
As the drug war rages on in México, the number of students that have enrolled in El Paso schools due to the violence remains unknown and unrecorded by schools. Ysleta and the Socorro Independent School Districts said there is no clear indication that people fleeing México to escape the violence have dramatically affected either district.
“I know students are coming in from México, but I cannot say with any certainty and there is not any data that I can look at right now that tells me that we have grown by any significant number and that we can directly attribute that to students coming in from México to flee the violence,” said Hector Giron, director for Bilingual/ESL/LOTE Department for YISD.
For students that have already made the transition to U.S. schools, the main challenge for them has been overcoming the language barrier. A junior from Montwood High School in the SISD, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he has been going to school in the U.S. for six years and due to his level of English he felt intimidated when he began school here.
“It was very hard (with transition to the U.S. school system),” he said. “It was hard because I spoke very little English and other students would laugh at me because I didn’t speak English very good.”
In the 2010-2011 academic year, 11,246 students were enrolled in bilingual or ESL programs totaling 25 percent of the student body in YISD schools. The number of students in these programs has increased by 1,330 students since the 2007-2008 school year, even as the total number of students enrolled at the school district has dropped from 45,049 in 2007-2008 to 44,778 in 2010-2011.
Photo: Raymundo Aguirre/borderzine.com