Solomons should not have moved to table the Huberty/Oliveira amendment last night. In fact, he should have accepted it. As I wrote last night [see “The Amendment that Mattered”], that was an important amendment. It was necessary to protect schools from losing funding under certain circumstances. The sanctuary cities bill is being debated on third reading as I write. Solomons should make a motion to reconsider the vote by which the Huberty/Oliveira amendment failed, and Solomons should embrace the amendment as acceptable to the author. School districts are in a bind. They can’t disclose personal information, including immigration information, without running afoul of federal law. HB 12 as passed to third reading incentivizes dropouts. Parents whose immigration status is in doubt will not want to get anywhere near a school. The likely result is that they will keep their children at home. This is a bad outcome. The incentive should be to get children into school. Schools that violate the sanctuary cities law face the loss of state funds. Schools that violate federal privacy laws (with disclosures of personal information to district police officers) face the loss of federal funds. The easy solution to this problem is for Solomons to accept the Huberty/Oliveira amendment, which would take school districts out of the bill. But public policy does not exist in this hostile political climate, and all anyone is thinking about is their primary races.
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