Volume 34
Issue 1
Spring '20

Unaccompanied, Unnoticed, and Undereducated: An Analysis of the Administrative Challenges of Educating Unaccompanied Children in Federal Custody

Written By: Kate Rheaume

Abstract

From October 2017 to August 2018, the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended 45,704 unaccompanied children.1 As of September 2018, 12,869 of these children remained in federal custody.2 While in federal custody, unaccompa-nied children are supposed to receive an education provided by private or public organizations through a contract with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).3 HHS must supply “a minimum of six hours of structured education, Monday through Friday, throughout the entire year in basic academic areas.” Yet, the education provided (if at all) in these shelters often suffers from uncertified teachers, a lack of resources, and rampant language barriers, among many other administrative roadblocks.5

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