Bill Would Allow Undocumented Students In-State Tuition
By Chris Conte
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A bill before Tennessee lawmakers would allow undocumented students the chance to attend state run colleges while paying in-state tuition, a move being praised by local education leaders.
"It seems to be a matter of fairness that these kids who've worked hard and played by the rules should have this opportunity," says Meredith Libbey with Metro Nashville Public Schools.
On Tuesday Nashville Schools Superintendent Dr. Jesse Register sent a letter to Governor Haslam urging him to push the bill forward, saying in part, "This is an effort to take action at the state level to ensure we keep the best and brightest students here in Tennessee."
Currently undocumented students who have graduated from Nashville Public Schools face paying three times as much as their peers to attend state run colleges and universities.
"I've been enrolled in public schools, always pushed myself harder, top of my class and not being able to pursue college education is something I still don't comprehend. Why don't we deserve the same rights as most of our classmates?" says Jazmin Ramirez who was brought to the United State by her parents from Mexico when she was 7-years-old.
Ramirez graduated from Glencliff High School in 2013 and says she applied to go to college but can't afford the cost because she currently can't receive in-state tuition rates.
"That's one of my biggest dreams is to attend college but I can't," she adds.
The bill allowing undocumented students in-state tuition is currently being considered by the state education committee.