Senator Rodney Ellis writes about HB 1403, the Texas law that allows DREAMers to pay in-state tuition at Texas colleges..... for video on HB1405 click here, for Spanish click here .
Dec. 9, 2010, 8:05PM
The quality of Texas' future will be determined by our state's ability to educate the next generation of students. Fortunately, Texas has enacted important legislation that recognizes the contributions of all students. It's now time for Congress to follow suit.
In 2001, Gov. Rick Perry signed House Bill 1403 into law after the bill passed the Senate with zero no votes. House Bill 1403 by former Rep. Rick Noriega, D-Houston, now called the Texas Dream Act, has proven to be an incredibly successful law providing access to higher education for students who may otherwise be unable to afford the increasing cost of attending college. Texas law currently provides that all students, regardless of immigration status, may qualify for in-state tuition at Texas colleges or universities provided they have lived in Texas the three years leading up to high school graduation and resided in Texas the year prior to their enrollment in higher education.
The Texas Dream Act thus recognizes that immigrant students who have been educated in our Texas public schools have strong family, community and economic ties to the U.S. The state then follows through on the investment taxpayers have made in their education by allowing them to pay the same tuition rate as other Texans who meet the residency timeline requirements. These students have been admitted to colleges and universities based on their merit and despite the many obstacles with which they are confronted — a principle every Texan can appreciate. The law is both successful and popular because it reduces dropouts, encourages access to college and comes at little expense to the state....more