Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Ross E. Mitchell, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Jose Lalas, Ph.D.

Keith Osajima, Ph.D.


Emergency Immigrant Education Act; immigrant education; immigration; immigration policy; politics of education


Educational Leadership


The Emergency Immigrant Education Act of 1984 (EIEA) was passed by the 98th U.S. Congress to provide funds to states to "meet the costs of providing immigrant children supplementary educational services" (Emergency Immigrant Education Act of 1984, Title VI, Sec. 607). This study analyzes the culture, values, and political context in which the Emergency Immigrant Education Act of 1984 was developed, passed, and amended through its most recent reauthorization. EIEA is the only federal legislation that specifically targets new immigrant students. However, EIEA has been largely overlooked by education policy analysts, because new immigrant students are rarely considered as different from limited English proficient (LEP) students. The study employs historical document and content analysis, applying Kingdon's (2011) theoretical framework of agenda-setting and Manna's (2006) concept of borrowing strength to explain EIEA's path to the agenda. In addition, it applies McDonnell and Elmore's (1987) policy framework to EIEA to understand how policymakers sought to realize EIEA's goals, as well as that of Wirt, Mitchell, and Marshall (1988) to identify the cultural and political values revealed in the rhetoric of the legislation. In tracing EIEA's 30-year route, I describe how the nature of the legislation changed from a primarily capacity-building policy to more of an inducement. In addition, the study revealed a change in an egalitarian culture to one that emphasizes quality.


© 2013 Jeanelle Kathleen Repique

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 9781321205435