February 9, 2018

Educators for Excellence Reacts to Passage of Federal Budget, Lack of Permanent Protections for Dreamers

Feb. 9, 2018 (New York) — Educators for Excellence (E4E), a teacher-led organization, expressed relief that Congress was able to pass a budget today that was signed by President Trump, but was disappointed that this was done without extending permanent protections for undocumented students who came to the country as children, leaving 800,000 Dreamers to live in fear that they will lose protected status and be deported.

"Over the past months we’ve heard so many members of Congress and even the President speak to their desire to help Dreamers” said E4E-Los Angeles member Mark Gozonsky, a high school English teacher at Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts in Los Angeles, CA and member of the E4E DACA Teacher Action Team. “Yet this morning, I go back to my classroom knowing my undocumented high schoolers will still be expected to study and graduate under the unimaginable weight of possible deportation. If they work hard, they should be able to achieve their dreams and contribute to the prosperity of their families and the nation they call home. I am immensely disappointed that our elected leaders have failed once again to finally give my students the stability and opportunity that the rest of us take for granted. And, like any good teacher, I am not satisfied with failure.”

"While it’s heartening to see cooperation across the aisle in passing a budget that will fund many critical programs and initiatives that make students’ lives better, it’s incredibly frustrating to see that bipartisanship does not extend to protecting Dreamers,” said Evan Stone, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Educators for Excellence. “Our members across the nation who have advocated on behalf of their students are crushed that Congress botched this rare opportunity to finally ensure undocumented students have a pathway to citizenship and can feel safe in their classrooms and country. Unlike Congress and President Trump, our teachers will not waiver in this struggle to give their students the civil rights they deserve. Dreamers enrich our classrooms and communities, and it is well past time that our leaders in Washington recognize their value and their humanity.”

Almost 700 members recently urged Congress to ensure that our undocumented students feel safe and secure in our classrooms.

And in a campaign last year led by a group of nine classroom teachers from across the country, more than 1,200 E4E members signed a letter calling on President Trump and members of Congress to fulfill the the promises made to undocumented students and families under DACA. The letter cited the significance of DACA in protecting the safety of students and educators with DACA status, as well as called for a lasting solution, such as the DREAM Act.

In the letter, the E4E members also committed to:

  • Making sure that all students are welcomed and included in our classrooms, regardless of immigration status;
  • Protecting information about the immigration status of students and their families; and
  • Supporting our students, our colleagues and their families by advocating to maintain DACA and finding a more long-lasting solution.

###