Santa Ana Unified School District spends resources on providing extra education for illegal students


Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request to the Santa Ana Unified School District seeking any documents from professional development provided to staff regarding students who may be immigrants or illegal aliens. PDE received a document from the district titled “SAUSD Newcomer Kit.” The term “newcomer” has recently been adopted by activists to describe illegal aliens. The school district appears to openly include illegal aliens into the category of “newcomers”:

For the purposes of this toolkit, the term “newcomers” refers to any foreign-born students who have arrived in the United States within the last three years and are still learning English. We recognize that this is far from a monolithic group, as the needs of new arrivals vary from those of students who have been in U.S. schools for two years or more. Moreover, the assets and needs of individual students are unique and require flexibility within the supports we offer.

The district appears to explain that it openly dedicates resources to illegal students. Part of the goal is to ensure these “newcomers” will “work toward developing English proficiency” and to “attend to social-emotional and adjustment/acclimation needs.” The document then states that the district will provide the following for “newcomers”:

  • A welcoming safe and thriving school environment
  • High-quality academic programs designed to meet the academic and language development needs of newcomer students
  • Social emotional, mental health support and skills development to be successful in school and beyond
  • Encouragement and support to engage in the education process
  • Meaningful partnerships with families

The toolkit includes “tools, strategies, and examples of classroom and schoolwide practices in action, along with specific professional learning activities for use in staff meetings or professional learning communities.” The toolkit document also states that it was “developed in accordance with the US Department of Education Newcomer Toolkit (updated June 2023).” The goal is to “provide learning experiences that are authentic, personalized, competency-based, and equitable & inclusive.” The document additionally provides the responsibilities of office staff, counselors, and support staff.