NY Educators Alarmed by Growing Population of Limited-English Proficient Students

Many lecture chairs arranged neatly in empty classroom.Education officials from New York State are alarmed by the strain of the growing number of students who lack basic English language skills to the state’s school systems. Most non- or limited-English proficient students in the state are foreign born or children of legal immigrants or illegal aliens. The drain on schools by English language learners has been exacerbated by the surge of unaccompanied minors and family units from Central America, which began in 2012. The surge is largely a result of the Obama Administration’s lax enforcement policies, most notably including President Obama’s deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) program. DACA provides illegal aliens with a temporary deferment of deportation and work authorization if they show that they entered the United States before the age of sixteen, as well as other requirements.

Education officials from New York report that the population of students with limited English skills has grown by at least 39,000 since 2008. This increase is larger than the total number of students enrolled in Buffalo schools, the state’s second-largest school district. Educators also emphasize the complexity of teaching English as a second language to New York’s diverse population, and estimate that students in New York schools speak over 200 different languages, including indigenous dialects from Central America that do not have written components. In Buffalo alone, schools that received refugees provide services to students that speak approximately 85 languages.

Illegal immigration, mass legal immigration, and increasing numbers of refugees resettled into the United States have created tremendous pressure on public school’s budgets and abilities to provide its students with standard educations. The New York State United Teachers union estimates that the language services alone will require an additional $200 million dollars in the upcoming budget.

New York is just one of many states forced to undertake this massive burden imposed by the federal government. In September, FAIR released a report analyzing the impact of mass immigration on public schools. The report estimates that limited English-Proficient students cost taxpayers approximately $59.2 billion annually. Almost the entirety of this cost, 98.9 percent, is borne by taxpayers at the state and local level.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar
    Not Politically Correct on

    When my mother-in-law started first grade she could only speak German. School was taught in English. There was no ESL class or government paid enabler ( I mean interpreter). She had to learn to speak English. She learned it and quickly was not adversely affected.
    She grew up to be a happy, well adjusted and wonderful person. All public schools need to be ENGLISH ONLY. Sink or swim!!

  2. avatar

    What they should do, instead of feeding the unions millions of tax payer dollars, is send for teachers from the countries that sent their non-English speaking students here and let that country pay for the teachers salary. Or, send them back home with their parents…done.

    • avatar

      Easy enough to deal with. Trump should issue (ala Obama), an Executive Order that ALL official business in the US involving Federal funding as a source, MUST be conducted in English and English ONLY.j
      Congress is WAY past legislating that English is THE Law of the Land, and NO OTHERS are required to be taught and, should a State decide it wants to ‘educate’ in any other language, they do so at their own expense and with a forfeiture of ALL Federal funding. ALL of it.
      Starve the beast.

  3. avatar

    We can count the days until we have a President who decides that the law means something. A Hillary victory would have meant the end of this country because she said one of her “first priorities” would be citizenship for illegals. All the Democrats seem to care about is illegals and increased Muslim immigration. Trump said vote for me and I will stop your jobs from leaving the country. Hollywood may not get it, but the voters in the Midwest did.

    It’s ironic that Obama has been bashing Fox News when he just gave an interview to Rolling Stone, which just lost a huge 7 million dollar defamation suit because they printed a rape allegation that a few simple fact checks would have shown to be completely bogus. Personally I can’t wait before we don’t have to hear his condescending lectures like only he knows the truth. He inflamed racial tensions in this country five fold because no matter what the facts revealed later, he was always bashing the cop in any incident.

  4. avatar

    I have lived in the Phoenix, Arizona area since 1947. Lots of Mexican friends along the way. Several I have known didn’t speak Mexican(Spanish?) because their parents didn’t allow it. An old courtesy is “do not speak down to others”
    often doesn’t work today because so many so called Hispanics speak very limited American-English.
    I said “so called Hispanics” because it seems many have ZERO Spanish ancestry and what they speak is only distantly related to the Spanish language. To me that is proof they have no interest in being “American.”
    If I lived in Mexico I would speak very good Mexican/Spanish (I once did.)

  5. avatar
    Glad to see the Election Result on

    Illegals drive down the quality of schools, increase costs (ESL, special tutoring), and interfere with the education of American kids. YOUR property taxes pay for the education of others, who were never part of the deal. Illegals also increase the level of rents, drive up court costs (interpreters, speed of trials), and increase population density.

  6. avatar

    So much of the media based in NYC is overwhelmingly for open borders and opposed to Trump’s immigration proposals and have a lot of contempt for Americans who don’t support open borders, and look is what is happening to their city’s schools. But they didn’t learn anything from the catastrophic 9/11 attacks, so why would this make any kind of impression. Amazing.

    • avatar

      New Yorker here! Believe me most of us want them the F out! My children complained that they were being taught to the lowest common denominator and were bored out of their mind. Teachers need to strike to be heard in New York. And DiBlasio is a POS!

  7. avatar

    The bankruptcy of America is just around the corner, if we continue to facilitate these parasites and their government of origin.

  8. avatar

    You mean they are getting what they asked for? Who could have guessed? I mean besides those of us with the common sense to have said this was coming? Hello? It’s math. Third grade level.

    Another New York story. The young Muslim woman who claimed three drunken Trump supporters assaulted her on the subway was arrested for false reporting of a crime. Let’s see if this “fake news” gets a tenth the attention it did when first reported.

    • avatar

      The Open Border Progressives Destroyed Our Schools

      Where’s the math and science in high school? Why are our graduation rates pathetic???

      But we spend money on English as a second language for the new legal/illegal immigrants anyway, when it obviously breaks the schools, then blame our children for being world idiots…Open Border Progressives are greedy psychotics for overpopulation slavery wages…WHY????

      • avatar

        Facebook is now saying that they will let certain “fact checking groups” determine what are “fake news” stories and bury them in threads. The corporate media is doing their very best to convince everyone they have a corner on the truth and not to go to “alternate sites”. but they only make themselves look foolish because they’re saying the public has to be baby sat by them.

      • avatar

        See you are completely wrong. I have seen N spoken to our teachers in different po arts if our country from CA to NY …. it is the system failing, the buriocracy telling the teachers what to teach N how to behave…. on the other hand mist if these immigrants from Asia, Europe N South America….come from laces whise high schools are if higher standards that ours in science N you know it

      • avatar

        Swe u r out of touch … really…amazing u give an opinion without any basis….the Chinese, south American have higher math education etc for engineering N Europeans Russians….our problem us the educational system N our American teachers mostly week in science. ……

        • avatar

          U want a great education in high school…..it costs lots of money….u have to have exceptionalparents to recognize what is needed N push your kids for the honor science ir art classes….

          Then u can beat the immigrants N as a team move the US back to becoming a leader again…you guys r out of touch N deserve what u get

        • avatar

          Mostly “week” in science Peter. I hope you are not a product of a US school or we really are in trouble.

          • avatar

            From your answer you are out of touch . . Yes I am, grFuated w/ honors, scholarships, lettered from cingress, patents, etc so perhaps you can learn something about our schools…N it appears you are the product we are really in trouble n you don’t even know it…..Worse than I thought!!!!

    • avatar

      Hahaha!!! Most of you!!! with the correct common sense!!!!???? Good for you!!! t least you believe on something….not concrete but something hahaha hahahaha!!!!!