Hempstead S.D. holds public meeting
Hempstead School District held its first public meeting Thursday night since a new board member was elected.
The school board spent the first hour and a half of the public session locked away in executive session. After about another hour of procedural matters, the board finally took comments from the public. At that point, the conversation shifted toward the influx of undocumented immigrant students that are now calling Hempstead home.
A recent report by the state education department found that the district failed in its efforts to enroll many immigrant students. Hempstead did unveil a transitional school for immigrants to try to mitigate that issue, but some parents say that's just not good enough.
"They don't have the white board. They don't have a nurse. They don't have a cafeteria, gym, they don't have anything there," said Hempstead resident Delsy Sanchez.
Hempstead Schools Superintendent Susan Johnson says the district is doing the best it can to accommodate all students, but acknowledged that it's a difficult situation.
"We realize that when you look at the percentage of people in Hempstead that pay the taxes, we have to find other sources to actually handle this challenge before us," said Johnson.
The state Education Department has given Hempstead until Dec. 3 to unveil its plan for corrective action regarding the dozens of immigrant children who were not properly enrolled in class at the start of the school year.