Monday, June 29, 2015

Senate OKs immigrant student aid bill

Register Guard
June 29th, 2015

Some Oregon students living in the United States without legal permission could qualify for state financial aid under a measure advanced by the state Senate Thursday, despite criticism that the state can’t afford the additional grants.
Portland Democratic Sen. Michael Dembrow, the bill sponsor, said it creates a path to college for students who already are part of the state’s education system.
“Against great odds, they’ve done what it takes to get through high school, and are the first in their family to attempt higher education. They are exactly the kind of kids we should be investing in,” Dembrow said.
Opponents have argued that the grant program is already under­funded and doesn’t meet the needs of resident students.
An analysis from the non­partisan Legislative Fiscal Office said about 1,000 additional students every year could qualify for state aid under the bill. It concluded that without additional funds to the grant program, the proposal could make the awards slightly more competitive and possibly even skew the grants toward the new student population.

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