Thousands of California students request school records

Thousands of undocumented students in the nation’s second-largest school district have requested copes of records that might qualify them for the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the district said Monday.

According to Lydia Ramos, special assistant to the superintendent, an estimated 200,000 current and former students in the Los Angeles Unified School District might be eligible for the federal program. “We looked at the birth years that this program covers and there were about 200,000 students that listed another country of origin,” Ramos said. “We have probably the highest number of students who would be eligible for this.”

The Board of Education last week ordered that all current requests be handled within 35 days and future ones within seven days. “We are being inundated,” Bell High School Principal Rafael Balderas said, adding his school was two weeks behind in providing documents. The school received about 200 requests for transcripts last year, but that total had been exceeded by July.

District officials notified schools on Friday that applicants can make requests online or fill out forms at schools for forwarding to the district’s central office. “We’re doing this to relieve individual school sites from having to complete these when they already have reduced resources,” Ramos said.

Officials say there’s a sense of urgency among applicants who worry that their window of opportunity may close in the event of a Romney win in November. “There are political considerations for some families,” Ramos said.

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