The DREAM of educational equity for undocumented children

An estimated 10,000 undocumented youth graduate from city high schools in New York each year. Access to funding for university-level education, however, is a challenge. Currently, those who qualify for in-state tuition at CUNY and SUNY schools can’t apply for the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

The NY State Board of Regents went to bat for the children left behind on Monday, voting to urge New York lawmakers to extend state financial aid to undocumented students. The board pushed for legislation to open TAP — which provides grants of up to $5,000 — to all students.

“These are students who are attending our K-12 schools, and we want to make sure that they have the full range of opportunities open to them when they graduate from high school,” said state education commissioner John King.

The bill, known as the Education Equity for DREAMers Act, has yet to be brought before the legislature. (Read more here.)

In No Undocumented Child Left Behind, Michael A. Olivas explores the fascinating history of the landmark case, Plyver v. Doe (1982), which made it possible for undocumented children to enroll in Texas public schools. He further explores the ongoing, highly charged debates over the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which aims to give conditional citizenship to undocumented college students who graduated from US high schools and have been in the country for at least five years. Check out the book here:

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