The Norman Transcript

State/Region

March 26, 2013

In-state tuition bill pulled from panel

OKLAHOMA CITY — Legislation that would extend in-state tuition rates to people who graduate from an Oklahoma high school but later move out of state was put on hold Monday after its author said the plan’s intention was being muddled in misunderstandings.

The bill specifically says only U.S. citizens would qualify, which raised questions about whether it would block illegal immigrants from an existing program that grants them in-state tuition if they meet certain requirements. Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman, who sponsored the bill, said those fears were unfounded because anyone who currently qualified for in-state tuition won’t be affected.

“We want to expand access — we don’t want to restrict access,” he said. “Those people ... seem to be reading everything in the bill except this part.”

The bill was scheduled to come before the House Higher Education Subcommittee on Monday, but it was laid over, meaning it could come back at a later meeting. Sparks said that will allow time to clarify the language and work with higher education officials.

The controversy started last week, when several immigrant students and a state education official latched onto the bill’s citizenship requirement. They said it could disqualify students who are illegal immigrants from in-state tuition — including those already in college — and potentially put a college education out of their reach.

Under current state law, Oklahoma high school students who were brought into the U.S. illegally are eligible for in-state tuition if they sign an affidavit promising to seek legal status as soon as possible, among other requirements.

“At best, it’s unclear,” said Angela Caddell, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. “In its current form, the bill does read to adversely affect undocumented students.”

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • Immigrant children being placed with sponsors

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The federal government says more than 200 unaccompanied children in Oklahoma have been placed with sponsors so far this year. The federal government released a state-by-state breakdown Thursday of the numbers of ...

    July 25, 2014

  • OCU prepares to move law library downtown

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City University’s School of Law is moving its library into a historic building in downtown Oklahoma City....

    July 25, 2014

  • CareerTech board names Mack as interim director

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Board of Career and Technology Education has named CareerTech deputy state director and chief operating officer Marcie Mack as interim director....

    July 25, 2014

  • Ohio State marching band chief fired

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday amid allegations he knew about and ignored “serious cultural issues,” some involving rituals where students were pressured to march in ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Board votes to delay plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Sentencing delayed for Oklahoma tea party leader

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Formal sentencing for the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party on felony blackmail and computer crimes convictions has been delayed....

    July 23, 2014

  • Heat advisory issued for much of Oklahoma

    TULSA — The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory through late today for much of the state as stifling heat and humidity continue to affect Oklahoma this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • 34 OSBI agents graduate investigative academy

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Thirty-four agents are graduating from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Advanced Investigative Academy....

    July 23, 2014

  • Okla. legislator doctor wants minors quarantined

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined....

    July 23, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has state teachers worried about instruction

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With the Legislature’s repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they’re concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 states ...

    July 22, 2014