Equity & Diversity

State ‘DREAM Acts’ Hotly Debated in Immigrant-Rich New York and Florida

By Lesli A. Maxwell — March 13, 2014 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

As federal immigration reform efforts remain stalled in Congress, politicians in two immigrant-rich states are haggling over proposed laws that would break down barriers to higher education for undocumented students.

In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott today announced his support for legislation that would grant in-state tuition rates to some undocumented immigrants, the Associated Press reported, providing a major boost to the cause of many immigrant advocates who have tried for several years to get Florida to pass a so-called state DREAM Act.

The Florida bill, sponsored by a Republican in the state Senate, would grant in-state tuition rates to students—regardless of their immigration status—who attended a Florida high school for at least three years and who apply for college within two years of graduation. Undocumented students would not be eligible for state financial aid.

Meanwhile, in New York state, lawmakers are at odds over a bill that would make undocumented high school graduates eligible for state financial aid packages that educators and immigrant advocates say would break down a major barrier to higher education in the state for students who were brought illegally to the United States as children.

While New York is already among the 19 states with so-called DREAM Acts, which allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates for state colleges and universities, it has not moved to do what a smaller handful of states have by providing financial aid packages to students without legal immigration status. In many states, that has proven a tougher political sell.

The measure already passed New York’s state Assembly and is awaiting a vote on the state Senate floor, where at least a handful of Republican votes are necessary for passage. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already pledged to sign the bill if it’s approved by the state Senate.

Advocates for passage of the financial aid piece of New York’s DREAM Act say that roughly 3,500 undocumented students graduate from New York high schools each year. They are ramping up pressure on the state’s majority Democrats, including Gov. Cuomo, to make sure that somehow, some way, undocumented students are made eligible for college-aid packages.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity Reported Essay What the Indian Caste System Taught Me About Racism in American Schools
Born and raised in India, reporter Eesha Pendharkar isn’t convinced that America’s anti-racist efforts are enough to make students of color feel like they belong.
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Reported Essay Our Student Homeless Numbers Are Staggering. Schools Can Be a Bridge to a Solution
The pandemic has only made the student homelessness situation more volatile. Schools don’t have to go it alone.
5 min read
Conceptual illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Equity & Diversity How Have the Debates Over Critical Race Theory Affected You? Share Your Story
We want to hear how new constraints on teaching about racism have affected your schools.
1 min read
Illustrations.
Mary Hassdyk for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Opinion When Educational Equity Descends Into Educational Nihilism
Schools need to buckle down to engage and educate kids—not lower (or eliminate) expectations in the name of “equity.”
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty