In Texas, our legislature meets every other year, and 2015 is a particularly critical year for Texas’ children. Beyond the invaluable proposed education-focused and charter-specific legislation that we have seen filed, a recent bill (SB 1819) was filed in the Senate to eliminate something dear to my heart—in-state college tuition for undocumented students who have attended Texas high schools.
It is important to understand that Texas was the first state to offer in-state tuition for ALL of our children, and we did this back in 2001.
For many of you, I don’t have to explain why this opportunity is critical to KIPPsters. Our students work very hard in their climbs up the mountain to and through college, often overcoming challenges that would sway others. We applaud their grit and ganas every step of the way.
I cannot tell you enough about how proud I am of ALL the KIPPsters who have committed to working hard and building a better tomorrow. When we sat in their homes, across from their parents, we made a promise, a sacred promise, to do everything we could to help them achieve their goals and dreams. As Big KIPPsters, we like to say “be the constant, not the variable.” It is our responsibility to eliminate the variables in our students’ lives so that working hard and being nice can open doors of opportunity for them. Our state should be the constant as well.
This proposed bill is not only bad for children across Texas, it is bad for our state’s economic future. If we cannot assure all of our children that education is the path to opportunity and success, then from where will the next generation of workers, leaders, and community voices come?
In the coming weeks, I may share opportunities for you to reach out to your representatives and share your thoughts on this topic and legislation.
Promises to children are sacred.