Fredericksburg School Board asks Virginia governor to halt resettlement
Posted by Christopher Coen on November 23, 2010
It was two weeks ago that the Catholic Diocese of Arlington announced they were resuming refugee resettlement to Fredericksburg, VA. Now, the Fredericksburg School Board has written a letter to the governor of Virginia asking him to halt resettlement to the city. A column by Emily Battle in the The Free Lance-Star gives more details.
Last week, Chelyen Davis and Kelly Hannon reported on a meeting the city School Board had about how the schools check on students’ residency status in Fredericksburg. They mentioned a letter the School Board sent last week to Gov. Bob McDonnell, urging him to help them stem the flow of refugees to the city’s small school system…
…In their letter, School Board members say they have been informed that 100 refugees are to be resettled in this region in the coming year, with half of them to be placed within the city limits. Because Fredericksburg has a smaller budget, fewer schools and fewer taxpayers than its neighboring localities, some city officials have tried to make the point to the resettlement office that the burden of this high-needs population should be more equitably spread among larger, wealthier localities.
The School Board makes some similar points in its letter to the governor, which you can read here…
…The board members close by saying, “This locality simply cannot support them,” and urging the governor to encourage the resettlement office to help place refugee families in localities better equipped to meet their needs.
What, if any effect this letter has remains to be seen. Board members noted in their letter that past requests made directly to the agency responsible for resettlement have been followed by an increase in the flow of refugees to the city. Read more here
This issue tends to be most pronounced during recessions when the unemployment rate is high. During non-recession times the refugees are able to quickly join the workforce and offset the extra costs of schooling their kids with their contributions to the tax base.