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Immigrants and the Distribution of Resources within an Urban School District

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Publication Date: December 2003

Publisher(s): Furman Center for Real Estate

Author(s): Amy Ellen Schwartz; Leanna Stiefel

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Education (Education financing, facilities, and equipment)

Keywords: immigrants; poverty; race; schools

Type: Article


In New York City, where almost 14% of elementary school pupils are foreign-born and roughly half of these are “recent immigrants,” the impact of immigrant students on school resources may be important. While immigrant advocates worry about inequitable treatment of immigrant students, others worry that immigrants drain resources from native-born students. In this article, we explore the variation in school resources and the relationship to the representation of immigrant students. To what extent are variations in school resources explained by the presence of immigrants per se rather than by differences in student educational needs, such as poverty or language skills, or differences in other characteristics, such as race?