The LEP (Limited English Proficient) Caucus of the Virginia School Boards Association advocates for policies and resources that support school divisions in meeting the needs of LEP students. It includes school board members and staff from school districts that have a large Limited English Proficient (LEP) student population, an increasing LEP student population, or who are simply interested in issues concerning the impact of LEP students on a school district. The Caucus keeps members informed on issues, shares best practices among school divisions, and coordinates lobbying efforts.
House Bill 1465: Message from Libby Garvey, February 8, 2011
Important for LEP Caucus Members:
Colleagues: We wanted you to know about House Bill 1465 (text below) which is currently in the General Assembly. This bill would deny admission of undocumented students to any public institution of higher education in Virginia no matter what tuition they paid.
We are judged on the achievement and graduation rates of our students. It is very difficult to encourage students to work hard and finish school if they cannot go to any institution of higher education. Of course, we believe it is also simply the right thing to do. All our children deserve access to our colleges and universities. They and their parents pay taxes. Many of our undocumented students have been with our school since preschool or elementary school. These are our children and they are our part of our future. If you agree, please contact your Delegate and/or Senator and ask that he or she oppose HB 1465 for the following reasons:
- A college education provides a real return on the Commonwealth's investment in K-12 education.
- We cannot create a a permanent underclass of marginalized young people who are not allowed to continue their education.
- These students contribute to our economy and society. Here are two examples:
- There are currently undocumented students who have graduated from our public schools attending Virginia’s colleges and universities paying out-of-state tuition. For example, at Northern Virginia Community College there are about 200 students, paying $957 for each 3 credit course.
- In Arlington, one of our High School Valedictorians came to the US when she was four months old.
If HB 1465 passes, our communities and our Commonwealth will lose a vital asset – an educated class of promising students who have demonstrated a commitment to hard work and the ability and desire to be contributing members of our society. We also are likely to struggle even more to improve the academic achievement of these students and will be held accountable for their achievement, or lack thereof.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the legislative conference on Thursday. If you have any question about whom to contact or how, just reply to this e-mail and we'll get you the information. I hope you can contact your legislators to oppose this bill and that you will pass this message along to others and ask them to do the same. Thank you!
Libby Garvey, Chair, LEP Caucus
Arlington County School Board
HOUSE BILL NO. 1465§ 1. Notwithstanding any existing policies regarding limitations on enrollment eligibility, the boards of visitors of the public, post- secondary institutions of higher education, including the State Board of Community Colleges, shall adopt written policies and procedures prohibiting the enrollment of an individual determined to be not lawfully present in the United States as defined by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. § 1621 et seq.)
November 2010 Meeting and Update
The LEP Caucus met on Thursday, November 18 at 3:30 at the VSBA Annual Convention. The Limited English Proficient (LEP) Caucus is for school board members who have a large or increasing number of second language learners in their district or who are simply interested in issues concerning these students. We provided a quick review of limited English proficient students in Virginia and what that means for each division's AYP status; an overview of testing requirements; and a look at some issues we might want to advocate for with legislators. Finally, we talked about what we want to do next.
The presentation can be accessed as a PowerPoint: LEP Caucus November PowerPoint
We have also provided information about the DREAM Act below.
Your VSBA LEP Caucus Co-Chairs:
Libby Garvey Kerri Wilson
Arlington School Board Harrisonburg School Board
If you have any questions, comments, or requests for additional information, please e-mail directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will respond promptly.