Senators take action, get results
Members of the Maricopa Community Colleges Governing Board last night voted 3-2 to keep tuition at levels set in March and scheduled to go into effect in July. This action negated an effort led by Board President Randolph Lumm to reconsider the March vote and continue to allow illegal aliens to qualify for in-state tuition. State law clearly bars community colleges from granting illegals in-state tuition.
Sen. Linda Gray learned from board member Debra Pearson that the MCC Governing Board was holding a special meeting Tuesday night, to consider backing out of a March tuition agreement that finally put the Colleges in compliance with Proposition 300. That is the proposition passed by more than 70% of Arizona voters in 2006, barring illegal immigrants from in-state tuition.
Sen. Gray moved quickly to write a letter to Attorney General Tom Horne, alerting him to the issue and raising questions about the legality of such a move by the Board. The letter was also signed by Senate President Russell Pearce and numerous Republican Senators and Representatives. In the letter, she included direct wording from Proposition 300.
A person who is not a citizen of the United States, who is without lawful immigration status and who is enrolled as a student at . . . any community college under the jurisdiction of a community college district is not entitled to tuition waivers, fee waivers, grants, scholarship assistance, financial aid, tuition assistance or any other type of financial assistance that is subsidized or paid in whole or in part with state monies.
Sen. Gray also asked the Attorney General about possible penalties a community college might face for classifying those not lawfully present in theUnited States as in-state students. With the vote of the Board last night, MCC will not face penalties, and the District is back in compliance with state law.