14,000 Students' Dreams Put on Hold - Senate Education Committee Fails to Move Tuition Equality Bill Forward
Nashville - As graduating seniors look forward to attending college this fall, undocumented students will still have to pay 3 times as much to attend public universities in Tennessee. Despite broad support from the business community, the University of Memphis, the Nashville Public School system, and immigrant and US-born families across the state, the Senate Education committee failed to move legislation forward that would grant undocumented students access to in-state tuition. The legislation, SB1951, was predicted to generate needed revenue for Tennessee universities and increase college graduation rates, priorities that align with Governor Haslam's "Drive to 55" goals. The sponsor moved the bill to the General Sub-Committee.
The following is a statement from Cesar Bautista, a coordinator of TIRRC's campaign for Tuition Equality:
"It is unfortunate that the legislature has missed an opportunity to strengthen our state's economy, generate revenue for our universities, and give every student the opportunity to pay their fair share for college. When undocumented high school seniors graduate this May, they will have to pay 3 times as much for school, making higher education impossible for most."
"Immigrant youth have advocated for this bill for two years and we won't quit until every student can pay a fair price for college. Our dreams are what's at stake, and we will never give up."