Why the big drop of students in Central Falls?

Talk radio was yesterday abuzz with this story, with hosts like John DePetro supporting the view that Governor Carcieri's approach to illegal immigration in responsible for a sharp decline in the number of students in Central Falls.

Matt's theory, IMHO, strikes me as closer to the mark: 

One word, people: FORECLOSURES.

“But I am surprised by this — I did not think the numbers would go down as significantly,” [superintendent Fran] Gallo said. “But all you have to do is walk around the neighborhoods around here and see all the boarded up houses. And given the tough economy, my principals have told me many families are moving away, to the south or the west or where they have relatives.”

. . . .  

Rhode Island is one of 11 states — and the only New England state — officially in a recession. Unemployment hit 7.7 percent last month, the second-highest rate in the nation, and more than 1,800 homes were foreclosed on during April, May and June. Cities have been especially hard hit. Sixty-eight percent of those foreclosures are in Greater Providence, which includes Central Falls, Cranston, East Providence, Johnston, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence and Warwick.

Here's a project for the right-wing activists out there.  Why don't you do an analysis of foreclosures and then overlay data of enrollments for each school.  My guess?  The maps would be identical.  The grim reality of Rhode Island is that with a foreclosure crisis, an employment rate second only to Michigan (did you see the feeble Help Wanted section on Sunday?!) and crime rates on the rise, people are fleeing en masse, leaving our cities in economic havoc.  

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