San Diego teachers teaching migrant children in person while district’s students still virtual

Parents of students in the San Diego Unified School District were understandably outraged to learn this week that teachers in the district were delivering in-person instruction to migrant children staying at the San Diego Convention Center while students in the district are still learning virtually at home.

The district has plans to move to a hybrid learning model on April 12, which typically means two days of in-person instruction for each student with the other days remaining at home for virtual instruction. Half of the students report for in person instruction at any given time.

Students are currently on spring break in the district, which gives teachers the chance to work with the migrant children.

The backlash

“We have 130,000 kids who haven’t been allowed in a classroom for over a year in the San Diego Unified School District. It’s great that there’s in-person learning for those unaccompanied minors from Central America, but I wish every child in San Diego County was allowed the same opportunity for in-person teaching,” San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond told Fox News.

“The system is broken when San Diego teachers are teaching migrant children in person, but the 100k students of taxpaying families at San Diego Unified School District are stuck learning in Zoom school,” SDUSD parent Emily Diaz told Fox News in an email.

“We agree that every child deserves an in-person education, but why are taxpaying students put last? If this is a humanitarian issue then who is rescuing San Diego Unified students, because our leaders have failed them,” Diaz added. She is pushing the school district to return students to the classroom full time.

It wasn’t clear whether the teachers were getting paid to teach migrant children or whether they had volunteered to do so. Conditions in migrant facilities are reportedly overcrowded, and the children have been testing positive for COVID-19 at a rate about six times higher than the surrounding community.

Psaki fumbles to answer questions

The hypocrisy inherent in putting migrant children before your own school district’s students did not go unnoticed at White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s briefing on Tuesday.

When asked about the situation, Psaki only said that “context” was important and that the school district students would be returning to classrooms soon, at least part time.

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) confirmed that teachers were volunteering to teach the migrant children during spring break and defended the program, saying, “All children in California, regardless of immigration status, have a constitutional right to education. We also have a moral obligation to ensure a bright future for our children.”

Rep. Daryl Issa (R-CA) was not satisfied with that answer. “The decision to provide in-person instruction to illegal migrants is outrageous and parents have every right to be angry,” he said.

Issa is not wrong; the SDUSD has an obligation to provide equitable education to all students and to serve the taxpaying families of the district before illegal immigrant children. The way Biden’s policies are going, those children will be in the classroom soon enough anyway.

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