The Cost of Educating Limited English Proficient Students in Nevada Soars to $730 Million Annually
Limited English Enrollment has Grown 15-Fold Since 1988, Finds New Report from FAIR
(September 2, 2010 — Washington, D.C.) - According to the report, Nevada schools spend an average of $9,273 a year to educate each LEP student, compared with $7,133 30 percent more than the per pupil cost for students who are fluent in English. The bulk of the costs are absorbed by the taxpayers of Clark and Washoe Counties, where 94 percent of Nevada’s LEP students attend school.
In addition to the direct costs to taxpayers, Nevada children face a loss of educational resources as the state copes with a rapidly increasing population of non-English-speakers. Unlike most states, Nevada does not allocate funds specifically earmarked for LEP education. Thus, the additional costs for LEP students come out of the general education budget.
“Nevada provides a case study of the real world consequences of policies that ignore the impact of mass immigration on American society,” noted Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “Excessive immigration has a profound effect on almost every aspect of life in America. In places like Nevada, the influx of new immigrants both legal and illegal is exceeding the ability of the public school system to cope with the ever growing number of LEP students, while still meeting their obligations to provide quality education to all its children.
“The overburdening of public schools in Nevada and other states absorbing large numbers of new immigrants demonstrates the need to rethink our immigration policies,” said Stein. “Overall levels of immigration must be reduced and both federal and local governments must make serious efforts to discourage illegal immigration.”
Among the key findings of English Learners and Immigration: A Case Study of Clark and Washoe Counties, Nevada:
More than 20 percent of students in Clark County schools, 62,734 were classified as LEP in 2008-09, at a cost to the county of $615.4 million.
Nearly 18 percent of students in Washoe County schools, 11,156, were classified as LEP in 2008-09, at a cost to the county of $108.8 million.
Nevada ranks 35th among states in the number of students enrolled in public schools, but 12th in the total number classified as LEP.
Nevada spent $730,081,836 to educate LEP students in 2008-09.
Nevada received only $7,275,754 in Federal Title III grants to pay for LEP education less than 1 percent of the state’s costs.
The complete report, English Learners and Immigration: A Case Study Clark and Washoe Counties, Nevada, can be found here.