- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Department of Education said in a recently released fact sheet that it doesn’t matter if children are illegally in the country — they’re entitled to the same taxpayer-funded public education as everyone else.

The declaration comes as states and localities around the nation have sought clarification from the federal agency about what to do with the scores of illegal immigrant youths who’ve crossed the border in recent months, insofar as schooling goes.

“All children in the United States are entitled to equal access to a public elementary and secondary education, regardless of their or their parents’ actual or perceived national origin, citizenship or immigration status,” the fact sheet states. “This includes recently arrived unaccompanied children who are in immigration proceedings while residing in local communities with a parent, family member or other appropriate adult sponsor.”

More than 62,000 illegal minor-age immigrants absent adult supervision have crossed into the United States since October, most of whom have hailed from Central America. The children are processed through the Department of Health and Human Services, then placed with sponsor families.

“While residing with a sponsor, these children have a right under federal law to enroll in public elementary and secondary schools in their local communities and to benefit from educational services, as do all children in the U.S.,” the fact sheet said.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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