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K-12

California's education chief calls DACA decision 'mean-spirited'

 (Andrew Seng / Associated Press)
(Andrew Seng / Associated Press)

California’s top education official denounced Trump decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. 

“Our country made an honest deal with these students — study hard, earn your degree and you will get a fair chance to compete for college,” state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a statement. “We should keep deals, not break them.”

Torlakson said the students covered by DACA enhance California overall. “Their hard work, energy, dedication and diverse backgrounds help them contribute to our economy,” he said. About 217,000 children in California are Dreamers, according to the California Department of Education.

Torlakson called the decision a “mean-spirited” political attack.

“I want to let all those students know that the American dream remains safe and secure in California,” Torlakson said, though it is unclear exactly what the Department of Education could do to keep migrant students in the state safely.

Chiefs for Change, a group of state education leaders founded by former Florida Gov. Jed Bush, also came out against the decision. “Pushing these young people into the shadows will hurt our schools and communities,” the group said in a statement. “This move by the Administration heightens the urgency for Congress to take action to protect Dreamers in the form of common-sense immigration reform.”

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