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Sea Mar CHC - Latino/a Educational Achievement Project
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Education Priorities
Undocumented (1079) Students

· In-state tuition
LEAP continues to support policies in Washington State and the United States to make a college education and citizenship possible for undocumented students.

In 2003, the Washington State Legislature and Governor Gary Locke approved HB 1079, a law that enables undocumented students to pay in-state tuition to attend college.

Since the bill passed in 2003, more than 2,500 students have registered for colleges and universities, identifying themselves as 1079 students, as required by law.

· Publicly funded financial aid for 1079 students to attend college
Efforts have been made in the past few years to enable 1079 students to qualify for publicly funded financial aid to attend college. Financial aid is available to students who come from needy families, but current laws prohibit 1079 students from qualifying for the funds, even though most would qualify based on need.

Due to the economy and projected $4 billion deficit the state is facing in 2011, it is unlikely that the legislature and governor would approve a bill to extend financial aid to undocumented students. More information will be available in late 2010.

· The DREAM Act
Since 2003, the United States Congress has been considering a bill that would provide a path to legal residency for 1079 students. The Congress has not passed the bill but it has drawn bipartisan support among Democrats and Republicans.


State High School Graduation Requirements

In 2009, a bill (HB 2261) was passed that will require all students in the state to earn 24 credits in order to graduate from high school. Currently, 19 credits are required for high school graduation.

The high school graduation requirement contrasts with the 15-16 credits that students need in order to be considered for regular admission to any of the state’s public universities, including the University of Washington and Washington State University.

In 2010 the State Senate approved a bill (SB 6778) that would allow students to graduate from high school if they could meet the university credit requirements—15-16 credits—provided students maintained a B average in the core academic subjects.

The logic of SB 6778, in brief: if a student can meet the requirements for entrance into a university, including the University of Washington, while maintaining a B average in the core academic subject areas, they should be able to graduate from high school.

The bill may surface again in 2012.





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