Rep. Courtney Allen Curtis Announces Tuition Equity Act

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State Rep. Courtney Allen Curtis has sponsored legislation that would allow for children of undocumented parents to claim state residential status when applying for colleges in Missouri.

"Our federal government requires us to educate ALL children, whether they are citizens or undocumented. But it seems after they go through our public schools, we're asked to forget that they're Missourians. That's not right, and that's not what we do as Americans,” said Curtis, D-St. Louis.

He added, "Conservative stalwarts like Eric Cantor and Marco Rubio have supported this type of legislation on the federal level, so this isn't the most liberal of bills; its simply one of common sense. Missouri has potential engineers, lawyers, and doctors already studying here in Missouri. It’s time we stop shooing away talent that will benefit our economy. These students already call Missouri home, and it’s time we showed them that we want them here."

Conservative states such as Texas, Nebraska and Kansas, have all enacted laws similar to the bill sponsored by Curtis. Under the legislation, a student would be required to sign an affidavit promising to seek legal immigration status. The bill would permit these students to become eligible for in-state tuition if they graduate from state high schools, have two years residence in the state, and apply to a state college or university. Fifteen states currently have statutes that condition eligibility for instate tuition on attendance and graduation from a state high school and acceptable college admission applications.

HB 1704 has a fiscal note of $0.00. The bill was heard by the House Committee on Higher Education on February 18, 2014. For further information, contact Representative Curtis’ office at 573-751-0855. -###-

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