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House subcommittee explores immigration and K-12 schools

Funding shortfalls are neither new nor driven by immigration.
Submitted on: June 3, 2024

Committee on Education and the Workforce
Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20015

Dear Representative:

On behalf of our 3 million members and the 50 million students they serve, we would like to submit the following comments in connection with tomorrow’s hearing on the consequences of immigration for K-12 schools.

Educators stand ready to educate all students, regardless of their place of birth or immigration status. NEA member Missy Testerman, National Teacher of the Year, embodies their welcoming spirit. She also shares their concerns about what happens when elected officials demonize immigrants in public statements or on social media.

“[Demonizing immigrants] emboldens other people to feel as though it’s appropriate to also say those things, and children are a reflection of what they hear,” Testerman said. “Sometimes, that language makes it back into the school day, and it’s hurtful. It’s hurtful to my students, it’s hurtful to their families, it’s hurtful to me.”

Funding shortfalls in K-12 schools are neither new nor driven by immigration. Due to the deep cuts and funding caps imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011, federal education funding has declined by $13.6 billion (after adjusting for inflation). To reverse this tragic trajectory, we call on Congress to commit to helping fund our public schools to meet the needs of ALL students.

We thank you for the opportunity to submit these comments.


Marc Egan
Director of Government Relations
National Education Association

National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.