A Kansas Republican’s proposal to track the citizenship status of public schoolchildren worries administrators in one of the state’s most diverse districts.
The bill by House Republican Allan Rothlisberg would require children enrolling in a public school for the first time to present proof of lawful presence in the United States. Districts then would submit annual reports on how many children enrolled without providing such proof.
Rothlisberg tells The Garden City Telegram he wants to know how much Kansas is spending on students who are in the country without legal permission.
Twenty percent of the population in the western Kansas community of Garden City is foreign-born. Administrators say even asking about citizenship would damage the trust and welcoming environment they’ve built with parents and students.