Louisiana taxpayers will be picking up a nearly $7 million dollar tab for educating more than 1,600 unaccompanied illegal children in Louisiana according to U.S. Senator David Vitter.

Vitter recently asked Louisiana's Education Superintendent John White what kind of ability our state has to handle the influx of children into Louisiana.

Numbers were given, but now those numbers must be adjusted.  Vitter says originally the state had 1,275 unaccompanied children, and now the number has risen to 1,652.

Senator Vitter says he estimates that the cost to educate these students for this school year will be around $7 million due to the additional teachers and other resources that will be needed.

Vitter says the Lafayette Parish School System figures that have 107 new children.  The school system has already hired 1 new English as a Second Language Teacher (ESL) for a new program at High School Career Center.

The Lafayette district is planning to hire 7 more ESL Teachers along with 7 Bilingual Assistants.  The district also reported to Vitter's office that they have plans to open a new ESL program in K through 5.  Lafayette did not provide the estimated cost of the additional students.

Other school district around the state are also having to add teachers and programs.

The information is as follows:

  • The Jefferson Parish School System estimates 575 new unaccompanied children have come into their system and it will cost $ 4.6 million.
  • The East Baton Rouge Parish School System estimates 289 new unaccompanied children has been added to their district at a cost of $948,137.
  • The St. Tammany Parish School System says they have 145 new unaccompanied children at a cost of $ 1.4 million.