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WASHINGTON -- Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the second-largest teachers' labor union in the nation, said illegal immigration makes America's public school system "stronger" by bringing more diversity. She attributed overcrowding to charter schools, austerity, and privatization.
Some school districts are grappling with classroom overcrowding and English proficiency issues among their student populations. Undocumented immigrants are able to enroll their children in public schools regardless of their immigration status or the status of the parents.
Rally - White - House - Friday - Protestors
Weingarten appeared at a rally outside of the White House on Friday where protestors called for the closure of detention centers for undocumented immigrants caught attempting to cross into the U.S. without authorization. The protestors also called for the Trump administration not to separate children from parents who are apprehended at the border for illegal entry.
"Classrooms, not cages," speakers shouted at the protest, which consisted of many AFT TEACH conference attendees.
Weingarten - School - System - Influx - Migrants
Weingarten was asked how the public school system would be able to handle the added influx of undocumented migrants if detention centers were to close. She attributed classroom overcrowding to school choice voucher programs.
"Actually, what hurts the public school system is when charter schools take money out of public schools and that's what creates overcrowding. What hurts the public school system is when state after state after state doesn't pay its fair share and has actually spent less money on public schools -- 21 states that is -- than it did 10 years ago," responded Weingarten, whose union has 1.7 million members. "We have, as a country, an obligation to help all of our children and ultimately when we do,...
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