POLITICS

Arizona Public Schools Asking Proof of Residency

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13:  Students and faculty members stage a sit-in in front of the school president's office at California State University, Northridge, demonstrating against proposed budget cuts at all 23 Cal State University campuses statewide on April 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Teachers and students were protesting a plan to slash the Cal State budget to save money by cutting enrollment at Cal State campuses by 10,000 students, and cut $11 million from the chancellor's office and shrink campus funding by $300 million.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13: Students and faculty members stage a sit-in in front of the school president's office at California State University, Northridge, demonstrating against proposed budget cuts at all 23 Cal State University campuses statewide on April 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Teachers and students were protesting a plan to slash the Cal State budget to save money by cutting enrollment at Cal State campuses by 10,000 students, and cut $11 million from the chancellor's office and shrink campus funding by $300 million. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)  (2011 Getty Images)

Arizona's tough immigration laws is now targeting students. 

A new law is requiring that parents fill out new forms showing proof of residency for the upcoming school year.

The forms meet new Arizona Department of Education requirements for determining whether a student lives in the state with a qualified parent or guardian, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

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The department says the forms were distributed to public schools in the fall and are based on a new law passed by the Legislature during the past session.

Tucson Unified School District Superintendent John Pedicone said the requirement will likely cause increased anxiety within the Latino community.

"When the law was proposed, we had some concerns," Pedicone said. "It's already difficult, especially with all of the other things going on in this state for many Hispanic families to trust that they're going to be safe when coming to events or getting engaged in our schools."

The district serves more than 31,000 Hispanic students and receives on average of $4,900 per student each year in state funding.

Currently, TUSD students are required to provide only proof of residency when enrolling in a new school. Under the Arizona Department of Education guidelines, that will have to be done annually.

Manuel L. Isquierdo, superintendent of the Sunnyside Unified School District, also expressed concerns.

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"Our concern is that this is only designed to address the issue of undocumented families, and we're opposed to it," he said. "We will comply, but it's another example of policies or statutes that are unfriendly to Latino-serving districts."

Republican Sen. Steve Smith of Maricopa said the state Department of Education has documented examples of people coming over the border, going to school then returning to Mexico.

"If you are going to use our schools, then you should pay for it. I can't say it any more clearly than that," Smith said.

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Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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