The Northeast Charter Schools Network submitted a letter to the members of the Connecticut General Assembly urging them to support H.B. 7000: An Act Equalizing Access to Student-Generated Financial Aid, as well as S.B. 17: An Act Assisting Students Without Legal Immigration Status With The Cost Of College.
For Immediate Release: May 31, 2017
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Charter Association Offers Letter of Support for H.B. 7000 and S.B. 17
New Haven, CT – In a letter addressed to the members of the Connecticut General Assembly, the Northeast Charter Schools Network urged lawmakers to support H.B. 7000: An Act Equalizing Access to Student-Generated Financial Aid, as well as S.B. 17: An Act Assisting Students Without Legal Immigration Status With The Cost Of College.
Northeast Charter Schools Network Connecticut Advocacy Manager Jose Alfaro writes, "On behalf of the Northeast Charter Schools Network, I write to you today to urge you to support H.B. 7000: An Act Equalizing Access to Student-Generated Financial Aid, and S.B. 17: An Act Assisting Students Without Legal Immigration Status With The Cost of College this legislative session.
"The Northeast Charter Schools Network (NECSN) is the state membership and advocacy organization for charter schools. Our mission is to support and expand the high-quality charter school movement – and that includes supporting schools, families, and students. We also partner with like-minded education groups and support educational initiatives that will make Connecticut a better place for students and families.
"As such, we believe the time has come to give these bills a vote. NECSN encourages you to do what you can in these last remaining days of the session to ensure that the proposals are voted on and passed.
"These proposals would equalize access to student-generated institutional financial aid at Connecticut public colleges and universities to all students regardless of immigration status. Institutional Aid is funded by tuition dollars that all students pay; it’s not tax or state funded. All students, including undocumented immigrant students, contribute and pay into the institutional aid funds. However, undocumented immigrant students are denied access it to it, even though they contribute to it through tuition dollars. Allowing all students who pay into institutional aid to access it, including undocumented immigrant students, is the fair and right thing to do.
"These bills have a wide range of support. Both bills have been voted out of the Higher Education Committee (HEC) with bipartisan support. In 2015 and 2016, similar bills passed the HEC and Senate with bipartisan support. The proposal is backed by officials at the University of Connecticut, at the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) System, and at the Board of Regents of Higher Education.
"Importantly, this legislation would cost taxpayers nothing. The Connecticut General Assembly’s Office of Fiscal Analysis reported that this legislation would have no fiscal impact. Rather, it is a common-sense measure that has been adopted by states as diverse as Texas and California. This year, the General Assembly has a chance to follow the bipartisan consensus both in Connecticut and in states across the nation in favor of this legislation.
"Educating all our state's students is an investment in the future of Connecticut. In the long term, the higher incomes of college-educated students will lead to increased tax revenues and lower expenditures on state health and welfare programs. Educating Connecticut’s students, including undocumented students, will help grow our economy and expand the state’s tax base. According to an estimate from a 2009 RAND Corporation report, the completion of a college degree raises lifetime tax contributions by at least $68,000. The nonpartisan Institute on Taxation Policy from 2017 estimates that undocumented individuals in Connecticut currently pay over $124 million in taxes.
"Lack of financial assistance makes it more difficult for immigrant students in our community— who are our friends, family members, classmates, and neighbors—to fulfill their dreams of graduating from college. We should help these students reach their full potential.
"Now more than ever, it is crucial for Connecticut to uphold the values of equality for all its residents. We support this bill because it is the right thing to do for our students, as well as a smart investment in our state’s future that will cost taxpayers nothing. We call on the Connecticut General Assembly to pass H.B. 7000 and S.B. 17 this year."
About the Northeast Charter Schools Network: The Northeast Charter Schools Network is the membership and advocacy organization for the more than 250 charter schools in New York and Connecticut. Its mission is to support and expand high quality charter schools.
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