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The University of Texas at Dallas, P.O. Box 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688

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News contact: Steve McGregor, UTD, (972) 883-2293, smcgreg@utdallas.edu

UTD Economist Nathan Berg Wins Grant to Study
Immigrants and Public School Education in Texas

Dr. Nathan BergRICHARDSON, Texas (Jan. 27, 2003) - Economist Dr. Nathan Berg of The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has been awarded a grant to study academic achievement among immigrant schoolchildren in Texas, as well as the educational impact of those youngsters on the state's native-born public school students. The study is being underwritten by the Smith Richardson Foundation of Westport, Conn.

Berg's study will compare the test scores of recently arrived immigrants with native-born Texans who have similar linguistic and socio-economic backgrounds. By measuring how test scores of native-born students are affected when the percentage of immigrants at a particular school is large, Berg hopes to provide descriptive evidence relevant to larger cost-benefit studies of immigration policy.

"In evaluating the benefits and costs of different approaches to regulating immigration, it is critical to know what happens in schools," Berg said.

According to Berg, immigrant children frequently require additional services when they enter schools in the United States for the first time. But, he noted that if their academic progress is reasonably successful after that, they eventually enter the U.S. workforce, pay taxes and help smooth out imbalances that threaten programs such as Social Security.

Another aspect of Berg's work draws on theoretical and anecdotal studies suggesting that immigrant families tend to be highly motivated to work hard and achieve financial success. By analyzing the net effect of immigrants' use of school resources and the potentially beneficial influence immigrants have on native-born schoolchildren, Berg hopes to produce new quantitative evidence useful in advancing debate over immigration and education policy in the U.S.

Berg is a Cecil and Ida Green Assistant Professor of Economics and Political Economy in UTD's
School of Social Sciences. A microeconomist, he studies economic behavior, population change and policy.

About UTD
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 13,000 students. The school's freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university's web site at http://www.utdallas.edu.


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