Dallas ISD developing plan to help district's ‘Dreamers'

The Dallas Independent School District is worried about thousands of students and some teachers and staff as well in the DACA program.

The clock is ticking as DACA is set to expire on March 5. The Obama-era program protects thousands of children and adults from deportation called ‘Dreamers.’ They are immigrants brought here illegally as kids.

DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa says the district is not sure of the exact number of students protected by DACA because they’re not allowed to ask about immigration status. But he says there are 70, 000 DISD students, roughly half of the district, who are learning English.

Losing a large number of students would cost the district big money. Hinojosa is also worried about the emotional impact on families and other students.

“If we lost 30,000 students for next year, the financial impact on this district would be incredible,” the superintendent said. “Some families are talking about what are we going to be doing in five weeks because in five weeks it will be in the middle of March. Some of us are planning Spring Break. Others are planning where am I going to be.”

The district says it also has 38 teachers and about 50 staff members covered by DACA.

Board Trustee Miguel Solis asked if there was a support system in place for students who may suddenly have a parent deported. Superintendent Hinojosa says it is something they are planning for, but the details have not yet been worked out.