Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Thoughts about education and equity while waiting on HB 159 points of order

Right now I'm waiting for the Speaker to rule on Rep. Mike Villareal's point of order on HB 159, discussed here, which would disallow immigrant kids from paying in state tuition to attend Texas colleges.

Rep. Bill Zedler said he'd never been mean to anybody, even as he tried to justify his bill putting college out of reach of talented kids. He just wanted to enforce US immigration laws, he said. It's not about "intolerance."

Well, why doesn't he start by enforcing laws against EMPLOYERS of immigrants? Why start with their kids? After all, their parents brought them here, THEY didn't decide to break any laws. Sounds pretty mean-spirited and intolerant to me. Texas law already creates MORE barriers to in-state tuition for immigrant children, than for citizens of other states.

What should legislators say, Zedler asked, to the parent of a child who couldn't get into a Texas university while children who entered the country illegally were admitted?

I'd tell them their child must not have done as well in school. This bill is not about admissions standards, only who qualifies to pay in-state rates. If a child born in this country performs poorly in high school, while the child of an immigrant does very well, then sure, the child of immigrants might gain admission ahead of them.

Study harder, I think is the message. Competition, after all, promotes excellence.

Villareal's point of order was withdrawn, and now Tommy Merritt has presented one. (I heard they'd found at least three.) Zedler has withdrawn his bill for half an hour while the parliamentarian looks at it, said the Speaker. Must be a good one. I'll update when they get back to it.

BOOM!! This bill died when Rep. Merritt's point of order was sustained by Speaker Craddick just after 8 o'clock. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Thanks, Rep. Merritt!

MORE: From I Was The State, Off the Kuff, and Half Empty.


Anonymous said...

Grits says, "Well, why doesn't he start by enforcing laws against EMPLOYERS of immigrants?"

I'm sure you were referring to illegal immigrants, weren't you? I think that fines for employing illegal aliens doesn't go far enough. I think executives of these companies that do so need to do some time.

Anonymous said...

EDUCATION FOR ALL... thanks for the summary

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@9:29 - Whatever you think SHOULD be the law, the House didn't have time, apparently, for bills targeting employers. Zedler and bill-backers instead would only attack their children whose work in Texas high schools qualified them for college.

I'm glad the Speaker sustained the second POO, but this was a disgusting piece of legislation that should never have been sent to the floor at this late hour in the session.

Anonymous said...

I don't see why legisliars insist on passing laws with more prison time for people who are not deterred by prison. Bust a few employers with minimal hard time [3-6 months] and a felony record and you'll see a sea change in employment of illegals. Adding more time as a pileon measure will just punish taxpayers. It won't stop people from dealing or cooking designer versions of banned drugs.