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HOUSTON – Southwest Key, the company that runs detention centers for migrant children who were detained crossing into the U.S. without adults, says the Texas Education Agency is denying them public funds for educational programs.

In a statement, Southwest Key says the TEA is preventing independent school districts and charters from drawing state funds to educate children housed in immigration shelters. Southwest Key says, if they had resources from the state, they could partner with credible institutions and help the students achieve credits before going into public school. The statement from Southwest Key calls the decision “unfortunate” and says “the kids are the ones who are ultimately hurt by TEA`s decision.”

But TEA says they’re only following state law. They released a statement saying “If Texas public schools provide educational services to children held in custody by the federal government, under Texas law, payment for those services must come from sources such as tuition, not from state funds.”

The TEA also says once a child is released federal custody, they are then eligible for state funding for public education.