GRPS leaders are 'concerned, deeply disappointed' with DACA decision

GRPS on DACA

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Leaders one of the largest school districts in the Grand Rapids-area say they are "concerned" and "deeply disappointed" with the Trump administration's announcement to wind down the DACA program.

Hundreds of Grand Rapids Public School students will be affected by the decision made on Tuesday, Sept. 5. But ultimately, Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal says their main concern is taking care of the children.

►Related: West Michigan reacts to end of DACA, many support DREAMers
►Related: Michigan lawmakers respond to Trump's DACA decision

"It isn't just about removing one person, you will affect an entire community when that happens," said Weatherall Neal. "So, we have teachers, we have other employees in the district and across this state that will be affected."

"These are our neighbors. These are people in our community. And we can't say that this is okay -- we cannot believe this is okay."

At a meeting Tuesday night, the Grand Rapids Board of Education introduced a resolution -- calling on congress to immediately act to restore the DACA program. The board provided their position in the agenda from the meeting:

The Grand Rapids Board of Education stands united with the National School Board
Association, the American Association of School Administrators, and countless other
education leaders across our nation in supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood
Arrivals (DACA) program.

 

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is crucially important to public
education across the country, from preschool to 12th grade impacting more than
800,000 nationwide. We believe students brought to the United States as children must
be able to pursue an education without the threat of deportation, and have a pathway
to fully participate in American society as citizens. DACA also enables college graduates
to work as teachers. Teachers in the United States under DACA fill a tremendous need in
a talent shortage area for many school systems with a high need and percentage of
English Language Learners and add desired diversity to the teaching force.

 

As a Board of Education, we are deeply disappointed in President Trump's most recent
action ending DACA by March 5, 2018. In light of this action and timeline, it is
imperative that the United States Congress take action and pass the Development,
Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act). 

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