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Support HB 871: Dream Act for HS Students at Community Colleges

By Chris Ross, JD, Associate Director for Social Concerns

House Ways & Means Committee (Mar 19, 2013)

The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public-policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.

HB 864 would permit an exemption for certain dually enrolled students from paying the out-of-state tuition rate at a community college and permit the students to pay a rate that is equivalent to the resident tuition rate at a public four-year higher education institution.

HB 864 assists students who are seeking to better themselves through education. Many of these students come from immigrant families. In our increasingly complex economic environment, the better-educated individuals are, the better chance they have of supporting themselves and their families. By making a college education affordable, you provide young people with one of America’s most prized gifts – opportunity. And when education, opportunity, and job skills are available to and sought after by Maryland’s youth, all Marylanders benefit.

Just like any other young person in Maryland, these students have hopes and dreams, and are eager to build an adult life for themselves. They deserve the same opportunity to realize their God-given potential, using their own talents and hard work.

For these reasons, we respectfully urge a favorable report.