JULY 18, 2008
The superintendent in a large southern California public school district is spending tax dollars on an outreach campaign to let illegal immigrants know they qualify for discounted in-state tuition at all the state’s public colleges.
San Bernardino County Superintendent Herbert Fischer, an elected official that serves four-year terms, believes many illegal immigrants don’t take advantage of this taxpayer-financed perk because they don’t know about it. To change that, his office created an informative pamphlet to distribute to schools throughout the dozens of districts that he oversees.
With an annual operating budget of $350 million, the San Bernardino County superintendent oversees nearly 2,000 employees and 33 local school districts. He also serves as an intermediate agency between the state’s department of education and all the county’s school districts and his office operates one of the two federally funded parent resource centers in California.
It seems outrageous that this public official, elected to serve American students, instead uses public funds to encourage illegal immigrants to benefit from a costly perk that should be reserved for legal residents and citizens. The superintendent’s office calls it an outreach to parents and families that fits into the county’s goal of promoting education beyond high school.
California is one of ten states that still offer the coveted tuition break at public colleges to illegal immigrants. Many states have reversed the costly policy. In fact, in the last few years four states—Arizona, Colorado, Georgia and Oklahoma—have created policies to refuse in-state-tuition at public institutions to those living in the country illegally.
South Carolina recently became the first state to completely ban illegal alien students form all public colleges and North Carolina’s attorney general ordered its 58 community college campuses to stop enrolling illegal immigrants because admitting them violates federal law.
While federal law requires public elementary and secondary schools to enroll illegal immigrants, it prohibits illegal immigrants from obtaining tuition breaks that are not available to all United States citizens. The states that for years have violated the law have suffered no consequences, however.
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