published Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Hispanics still are showing up for school in Georgia after immigration law

A group of Little Bloomers form a line for the first time in their schooling career at Blue Ridge Elementary School.
A group of Little Bloomers form a line for the first time in their schooling career at Blue Ridge Elementary School.
Photo by Tim Barber /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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As anecdotal evidence of Hispanics leaving Georgia trickled in to school officials all summer, schools with large Hispanic populations prepared for enrollment numbers to plummet this fall.

The drastic drop in enrollment didn't happen.

In fact, school systems in Hall, Gwinnett and Gordon counties and Dalton and Marietta had slight enrollment increases. Enrollment in Cobb and Whitfield counties decreased slightly, but that continues a trend over the last several years, officials said.

"Like everyone else, we weren't sure what the impact [of the Georgia immigration law] would be, but we've actually picked up a few students," said Marietta City Schools spokesman Thomas Algarin. "We expected to see a change, but the numbers have shown differently."

Marietta City Schools had a Hispanic enrollment of about 30 percent last year.

School systems have conducted unofficial 10- and 20-day counts, but do not submit official numbers to the state's education department until later this month. The official count also will include demographic makeup for each school, but most of the schools said they had not yet completed demographic counts.

In Dalton, school board members and school officials have said they have not been able to determine why enrollment did not drop, despite stories of many Hispanics leaving the area. Last year, Whitfield County had a 38 percent Hispanic enrollment, while Dalton had a 68 percent Hispanic enrollment.

City officials have said it appears bread-winners, particularly men, may be leaving to find work in other states, leaving children and women in Dalton.

The shift of men leaving and women and children staying behind is similar to what happened during the original immigration to Whitfield County over the last 20 years, according to David Boyle, a social work professor at Dalton State College.

Initially, men moved into the Dalton area to find jobs and housing before bringing their wives and children. Now, primarily for economic reasons, some Hispanic men have left to look for work elsewhere.

"Some part of the families have stayed in the Dalton-Whitfield area, keeping the kids in school," Boyle said.

It does not appear that either Hamilton or Bradley counties in Tennessee had large influxes of Hispanic students this year.

Hamilton County had an increase of about 100 students in the category in which Hispanic students are counted, according to Carol McDowell, executive assistant to the superintendent. Those students may not have been all Hispanic because the category includes other demographics such as Native American.

Bradley County schools had a slight drop in enrollment this year.

Staff writer Perla Trevizo contributed to this story.

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about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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Veritas said...

We can only hope when the "bread winners" find jobs in other states, preferably in other countries, perhaps even their own, they will quickly retrieve their spouses and progeny and exit Georgia permanently.

October 4, 2011 at 9:11 a.m.
dao1980 said...

This headline is attempting to have me believe that all Hispanics are illegal immigrants... which I do not think is the actual case.

Is the law in relation to Hispanics? Or was it passed to curb the influx of non legal residents that have not obeyed our border laws and are in effect "squatting" as criminals under the guise of unintentional consequence.

Like, if I were to trespass on restricted gov. property, and once caught, claim that I didn't mean to..... but not leave... and expect/demand immunity from forced removal....

October 4, 2011 at 1:11 p.m.
rolando said...

You are reading too much into the headline, dao.

The law is intended to discourage illegal aliens from living and working in Alabama. That's all it does. They are criminals just for being here, after all.

According to a TFP report http://timesfreepress.com/news/2008/apr/17/hispanic-community-rocked-plant-raid/ , it is working here, too.

That URL by the way does not allow comments...interesting, that. First time I have seen it for a local news report. Afraid of the comments, I guess.

The TFP is showing its bias toward criminals...

October 4, 2011 at 1:23 p.m.
dao1980 said...

Probably so rolando.

I sometimes find myself feeling a little frustrated when the issue of legal or illegal residence devolves into a race oriented statement as this headline seems to be illustrating.

To concentrate on race is purposefully distracting from the actual issue, and is a method used by the media to polarize those who feel sorry for Hispanics, and those who have racial bias against Hispanics.

Sure, in the united stated we seem to have a larger immigration issue with Hispanics, but this is circumstantial, and in no way should that soften the implications of the law. One could say that the reason for this is our proximity to Mexico, but for some reason much fewer Canadians are illegally colonizing large areas of the U.S.

So, based on this reality, is it more productive to take a racist stance and say that Hispanics in general are the problem?

Or, shouldn't we lean harder on the issues of the gross lack of law enforcement in regards to businesses hiring illegal residents and beat-coppers lack of action in arresting, with gov. agency's not deporting people of all nationalities who are residing criminally within our borders?

October 4, 2011 at 1:52 p.m.
XGSBoss said...

Let me simplify it dao.

Brown people = bad.

White people (European, Canadian that speak english) = good.

Sorry the brown ones took your tomato harvesting job Rolando,but we got 'em on the run now! BTW, the name Rolando does not sound Anglicized enough... SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS PLEASE

October 4, 2011 at 4:05 p.m.
car1200 said...

I think all of you are stupid. I'm white and have thoughts for any color, kind of a person. We were all made the same. For the person that said Brown=Bad have you ever took a look at yourself. All of the higher class of people I have seen or nice to any kind of person. It's only the middle class that don't have nothing else to do. The lower class just enjoy life as it is. Also the "BROWN" people are the only ones the work hard and never say anything about having to do it. All the whites say "I'm tired", When is it going to be Friday.

October 4, 2011 at 9:45 p.m.
car1200 said...

What's wrong with this world today. Everyone seems to hate everyone. They must not enjoy there self. Sorry life not good for you. All the whites or use to being lazy. All the "BROWN" people had to do all the hard work. OH AND YES I'M WHITE VERY WHITE

October 4, 2011 at 9:51 p.m.
XGSBoss said...

Jesus H(ispanic) Christ car1200, you're new to the internet aren't you? I was being sarcastic in my earlier post. That's what the cool kids do. I abhor judging people by their race, others here seem to have that as their default setting.

October 4, 2011 at 10:16 p.m.
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