With the school year starting, many of our kids are settling into their daily academic routines, while others are becoming less and less settled. Students across California have a growing concern about an issue they have no control over: their immigration status.
Under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, students who would otherwise have to fear deportation over a choice they had no part in making have been allowed to flourish in classrooms across our state and throughout the nation. But now, uncertainty and fear have returned due to the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA over the next six months.
An estimated 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools annually; the influx of college and university applications from this special population continues to grow each year. As a result, many Dreamers are now leaders in cities, businesses and classrooms across the country, with over 100,000 in Los Angeles alone. As charter leaders in Los Angeles, we are joining together to stand up for these students and their families. No executive order will preclude our promise to educate all students regardless of background. These children should be encouraged — and allowed — to dream, and it is the responsibility of educators to help them do so.
The success stories of these students are not flukes. They embody the promise and success of our educational system — that their efforts can be rewarded with careers in medicine, engineering and other industries, bringing value-added resources to local economies and neighborhoods. The hard work of students alongside the tireless efforts of public school teachers have proven that high-quality public education is a game-changer. Teachers in classrooms throughout Los Angeles and the nation are ensuring that all students, regardless of immigration status, can be college ready upon graduation. Our Dreamers are overcoming social stigmas and racial tensions in order to reach their academic goals. We need to protect and encourage their efforts — not stifle them.
Public schools should be learning sanctuaries that champion intellectual curiosity, and ensure our children learn about citizenship, diversity and tolerance. As educators, we believe that all students must have the opportunity to gain access to knowledge helping to build their lives and strengthen our communities.
All students should be dreamers, and every educator should be a facilitator of their…