A Kansas lawmaker's proposal to track the citizenship status of public schoolchildren has raised alarm in one of the state's most diverse communities, where district administrators worry that even raising the question with parents and students would damage the welcoming environment they have tried to create.It's all innocent, of course: Rep. Allan Rothlisberg just wants to know for reasons.
"What I'm trying to get across here is where our tax money is being diverted to," Rothlisberg told The Garden City Telegram. "It's not going to our children or grandchildren."So the bill would require parents enrolling a child to present proof of citizenship or a birth certificate. They wouldn't be turned away if they couldn't, but critics (we'll call them "critics," here, instead of my preferred "persons with two or more brain cells to rub together") point out that announcing a state law requesting proof of citizenship to enroll your child in school will, predictably, make undocumented parents even more fearful of enrolling their child in school. That's bad. Whether the parent is documented or not, it is in the best interests of the entire community to ensure that community children all receive a decent education. We want them to be educated. We want them to be able to get decent jobs. We want them to be able to participate in the local economy instead of being a burden on it; supposing our tax money is being "diverted" to pay for unauthorized children learning to read and write presupposes that teaching them to read and write is a bad thing on which to be spending tax money, which is both economically flawed and a very bastardy thing to think.
Rothlisberg said his bill would not cause any students to feel as if they're being discriminated, since all students would be required to provide documentation of legal presence.Oh, he seems nice.
"They feel alienated anyway because they know they're here illegally. So, I mean, they already know they're breaking the law," Rothlisberg said.