Georgia Immigration Law May Impact School Enrollment

Public school officials in Atlanta plan to closely monitor enrollment figures this summer, as some suspect many illegal immigrants may pull their kids out of school in reaction to Georgia’s new immigration reform laws, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Arizona experienced a drop in public school enrollment after similar immigration laws were passed in the state last year. For example, one elementary school in Phoenix lost about 200 students after the state began enforcing its anti-immigration law, reported the newspaper.

The news source said student enrollment changes can impact the amount of state and federal funding public schools receive per student and also affect staffing and school construction plans. Although federal law prohibits public schools from inquiring on students’ immigration status, the Georgia law requires public schools to track students who may be illegal aliens and report how much they are spending to educate those students.

Some believe the state’s strict immigration law – which allows law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of suspects who cannot provide identification and detain those who are in the country illegally – is causing some families to relocate to states with looser regulations, the media outlet reports.

Most parts of the Georgia immigration reform law are set to take affect on July 1. However, a number of civil liberties groups have sued the state in order to block the law from taking effect.