Metro Atlanta Policy Lab for Education
What are the effects of having refugee students as peers?
A snapshot of the student population in the school district in our study reveals that in 2016 there were approximately 3,300 refugee students across all grades (K-12). Thus, refugee students made up roughly 3 percent of the total student population in the district. On average, there were about 250 refugee students per grade, with significant variation across grades. For example, while only 2 percent of first-graders were refugees, this proportion climbs to 5 percent among ninth-graders.
Refugee students in the district come from a variety of countries and enter with varying language skills. In 2016, over 18 countries were represented among the refugee population. The top country of birth for refugee students in the district was Burma (Myanmar), followed by Ethiopia, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, and Bhutan. Approximately 26 percent of refugee students did not receive English as a Second Language (ESL) services.
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