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May 16, 2013
For More Information Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201


Regents Convene Forum on Immigration and Education on Monday, May 20, 2013

The New York State Board of Regents will convene a forum, "Education Equity: Immigration and Education in New York State", on May 20, 2013 at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, New York.  The forum will include discussions on ways to increase educational opportunities for English language learners and undocumented students.  

"There are hundreds of thousands of students in New York who have been condemned to a life of poverty simply because they were brought to the United States as children," Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch said. "Their immigration status is determined solely by the status of their parents, and they’re being denied opportunities that the rest of America takes for granted. It makes no sense. It’s an on-going tragedy that not only hurts these students, it hurts our society."

"Young New Yorkers who are willing to work hard and study hard should not be denied educational opportunities simply on the basis of their parents’ immigration status," said State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. "And English language learners should have every opportunity to succeed. Our goal is to make sure all students graduate ready for college or a career, and then make sure they can actually go to college or find jobs."  

The forum will include remarks from the New York Immigration Coalition and three panels on:

Adult Education - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and High School Equivalency:
On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to provide the opportunity for certain undocumented youth in the country to be afforded a pathway to secure U.S. work authorization. The Regents will hear from a panelist who has received Deferred Action and from community-based and local organizations that are providing key adult education and high school equivalency preparation services to immigrant communities to better prepare them to contribute to New York's economy and/or to apply for Deferred Action.

DREAMers Act - Expanding Access to Higher Education:
The Regents have proposed legislation to give undocumented students who graduate from high school the opportunity to access higher education opportunities by making state financial aid available to them. The Education Equity for DREAMers Act would honor New York's long history of providing broad access to higher education opportunities. The Board will hear from New York students who would be able to attend college with enactment of this important law. 

Educator Preparation - Ensuring College and Career Readiness for New York's Immigrant Students:
Approximately eight percent of New York's students are English language learners. The Board of Regents and the State Education Department are changing how teachers and principals are certified to ensure that educators have the skills required by the Common Core and today's diverse classrooms. The new Educating All Students certification exam takes aim at the achievement gap and will assess whether new teachers and principals understand how to address the learning needs of English language learners. The Regents will hear from panelists from multiple sectors that prepare teachers to educate our diverse population.

Forum Information:

WHEN:            Monday, May 20, 2013

TIME:              3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

WHERE:          LaGuardia Community College
                     Little Theater
                     31-10 Thomson Avenue
                     Long Island City, NY 11101