College plan

3/28/2013

In-state tuition program still a sensible approach.

In-state tuition program still a sensible approach.

Students attending postsecondary institutions in Kansas fall into two categories: Those who pay in-state tuition and those who pay out-of-state rates. The difference is significant. In-state rates are less than half what the non-resident pays.

In 2004, the Legislature decided any student who graduated from a Kansas high school and had lived in the state for at least three years qualified for in-state tuition rates — regardless of residency status. Lawmakers then were under the impression it wasn't fair to punish children with higher tuition merely because their parents weren't legal citizens. The law didn't benefit a great number of Kansas kids, nor did it raise many objections....

A challenge to the status quo emerged this year, courtesy of a state official whose passion appears to make life as difficult as possible for immigrants. Secretary of State Kris Kobach was the lead supporter of repealing in-state tuition for Kansas students without legal residency.

... First of all, this year there are 630 immigrants paying in-state tuition. Of those, more than 500 attend community college. Is Secretary Kobach suggesting families enter the country and live here for three years for the primary purpose of getting discounts on two years' worth of community college? That is difficult to imagine.

We don't believe the secretary is looking at revenue-enhancements for the schools, either. If all 630 students were to switch to the higher rate, the incremental dollar gain would be $1.8 million. Of course, assuming those families merely were gaming the system, they wouldn't be in Kansas. The loss of those 630 college students would be $3.9 million.

It sounds as if Kobach, who sideline business is making life difficult for immigrants around the country, just wanted to stir things up some more in Kansas.

Thankfully, the House committee didn't bite. No action was taken on the bill.

And at least one lawmaker reframed the conversation in a manner we found refreshing. Rep. Ponka-We Victors, D-Wichita and the only Native American serving in the Legislature, offered this: "I think it's funny, Mr. Kobach, because when you mention illegal immigrant, I think of all of you."

We hope this is the last we hear about attempts to punish Kansas teens for the decisions of their parents.

-- The Hays Daily News

comments powered by Disqus
I commented on a story, but my comments aren't showing up. Why?
We provide a community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day.
Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. We expect civil dialogue.
Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome.
Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum.

If you don't see your comment, perhaps you ...
... called someone an idiot, a racist, a moron, etc. Name-calling or profanity (to include veiled profanity) will not be tolerated.
... rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.
... included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.
... accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.
... made a comment in really poor taste.

MULTIMEDIA