(Lukeville, Arizona) Over a year ago, it was reported that Mexican children were crossing the border daily to attend public school at American taxpayer expense. Arizona Superintendent of Education Tom Horne ordered an investigation to be conducted. Yesterday, Horne said nothing has been determined about where students actually live. "The investigation is proceeding," said Horne. In other words, he's sitting on his thumbs.
Lukeville (pop. 65) sits walking distance across the border from Sonoyta, Mexico. Every morning, 85 children board two school buses bound for the school in the town of Ajo. School officials "are at a loss to explain the discrepancy." In reality, officials just don't want to explain the discrepancy. It's not a secret.
Each school day, the routine is the same. By 6:30 a.m., two empty school buses, sent by Pima County, pull into the tiny town of Lukeville and park within a few hundred yards of the border crossing.
Dozens of boys and girls walk from the Mexican town of Sonoyta into the United States through the port of entry, some chatting, dribbling basketballs and toting backpacks. A line of roughly 15 to 20 trucks, cars and minivans forms at the border as parents wait to drop their children at the bus stop and then head back into Mexico.
It's fairly common knowledge that children who live in Mexico are attending school in the U.S. with taxpayer dollars allocated for each of them. In fact, if the estimated 80 to 85 students who now catch the bus at the U.S.-Mexican border are eliminated from the total enrollment, the Ajo School District is estimated to lose about $425,000 in funding.
In summary, not only is the American taxpayer paying to educate illegal aliens living in the U.S., the taxpayer is also paying to educate illegal aliens who don't live in the U.S. I guess the "They pay taxes, too" argument wouldn't work in this case.
However, the state education chief, Tom Horne, is investigating to see "if there is abuse of taxpayer money." If so, "we will seek disciplinary action," he says.
Notably, Mr. Horne is prominent in a related story from this week where he has asked the U.S. Department of Education to exempt Arizona from "too rigid to be fair" federal accountability rules. Specifically, Horne wants academic and attendance requirements reduced so that Arizona can meet them.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.