New MDPCS School Board Member introduces proposal addressing the needs of undocumented and mixed status families

Posted at 4:41 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 16:41:05-05

“My first item seeks to ensure that we have yearly training for our counselors and our supporting staff in schools so they have the information to share with students that is timely and appropriate for what’s happening in the real world,” said Luisa Santos, School Board of District 9.

Luisa has been a Miami-Dade County School Board Member for a little over a month and has already introduced her first proposal. The item will provide school resources to undocumented and mixed status families to help guide them in the right direction.

“This resource guide will be available hopefully by next year and will accessible to all families who need that information and the second part of the item is that our counselors will have yearly training so they also know the information for when students ask them for that specific guidance, said Luisa.

On the heels of the reinstatement of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals by a federal judge last week, the proposal provides timely, pragmatic and tangible resources to students who have now regained an opportunity to obtain a post-secondary education.

“Every situation is different and that’s why this item really seeks to make sure that we cover our basis. Whether it’s DACA, TPS, fully undocumented or even citizen children who have undocumented parents, that becomes a huge challenge when you’re trying to go to college,” said Luisa.

Santos emigrated to Miami from Colombia as an undocumented immigrant when she was eight years old. So as a former undocumented student, Santos understands the value of accessible resources and information students and families need to succeed.

“I was an undocumented student in our schools and I did not have access to the information I needed for programs that already existed that I didn’t know about. My teachers scrambled and tried so hard and found some options for me but they also weren’t equipped with the tools and information they needed to continue to guide me. So that is the inspiration,” said Luisa.

To learn more about the item and other items Santos is working on to improve our schools, click here.