EXCLUSIVE: Teachers from San Diego Unified School District are teaching migrant children in person before their own students, Fox News has learned.
SDUSD students are currently learning in an online-only format and are expected to move into a hybrid model on April 12, where they will be learning in a combination of in-person and online formats, according to the school district's website.
"We have 130,000 kids who haven't been allowed in a classroom for over a year in the San Diego Unified School District. It's great that there's in-person learning for those unaccompanied minors from Central America, but I wish every child in San Diego County was allowed the same opportunity for in-person teaching," San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond told Fox News.
"The system is broken when San Diego teachers are teaching migrant children in person, but the 100k students of taxpaying families at San Diego Unified School District are stuck learning in Zoom school," Emily Diaz, an SDUSD parent, told Fox News in an email.
"We agree that every child deserves an in-person education, but why are taxpaying students put last? If this is a humanitarian issue then who is rescuing San Diego Unified students, because our leaders have failed them," Diaz added.
SDUSD spokeswoman confirmed to Fox News the district has shared information about the opportunity for teachers to volunteer teaching migrant children in person during their spring break this week.
She noted she doesn't know if teachers are getting paid, saying that it's up to the county.
"The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) is providing the educational program for the unaccompanied migrant children who will be staying at the San Diego Convention Center through July. All children in California, regardless of immigration status, have a constitutional right to education. We also have a moral obligation to ensure a bright future for our children," an SDCOE spokesperson told Fox News in an emailed statement.
"The educational program will include English language development and social-emotional learning opportunities. The teachers who are participating in the program are doing so voluntarily, and the program is following a COVID-19 screening protocol based on guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
"For more than a year, parents and students in San Diego County have waited for educators to answer one question: When will our schools reopen with in-person instruction only? And for a year, they’ve been told to wait," Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CA, told Fox News.
"The decision to provide in-person instruction to illegal migrants is outrageous and parents have every right to be angry."
"We are begging [California Gov.] Newsom and the U.S. Department of Education, where our superintendent is going - rescue us! This is an SOS. They must mandate 5 days of in person learning for all students," Diaz, the SDUSD parent, told Fox News.
"Fourteen percent of our district are students with disabilities and 23% are English Language Learners. San Diego Unified took in millions of dollars in relief funding to bring them back at the beginning of the school year but only 6000 are in-person today and we have no idea how that money was used," she added.
"What is happening right now is immoral."