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Utah Schools Feeling Impact of Border Crisis

Increase of non-English speaking students stretching the budget of already struggling school districts.


Utah’s status as second-best state in education is being challenged by the additional stress created by the southern border crisis according to Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT). A rapid influx of migrants, especially undocumented families who often pay fewer taxes, comes at a cost.


A 2022 FAIR Report estimated the cost to educate new illegal aliens in public schools as a minimum of $9.7 billion nationally. Utah currently spends approximately $11,500 per student.


During Congressional testimony for the Education and Workforce subcommittee Rep. Owens questioned both the impact on Utah public schools and the inadequate service to migrant children.


"They're unable to assimilate,” Burgess said during the June 4 hearing. “(They're) unable to speak the language to understand what the American culture is all about."


During testimony, Owens asked the president of Alliance for a Safe Texas Sheena Rodriguez about the rise in violence in schools.


"That's one of the most egregious things is that (schools aren't) safe for the children, for the students for the staff or the communities," said Rodriguez. "We're failing the future of our country. We're failing on every level." 


Over 95,000 Illegal immigrants are estimated to be in Utah comprising 3% of the state population.


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