New York's so-called "Dream Act" would have provided tuition assistance to undocumented children in the state, but it died in the state Senate Monday. It proposed $25 million in tuition assistance, and up to $5,000 a year for undergraduates attending four-year schools.
The measure would have made New York the fifth state to offer tuition assistance to children who are raised in the United States, but aren't able to afford college because they don't qualify for financial aid, and in most states, in-state tuition. New York's "Dream Act "would have benefited 3,500 public school grads, but it failed just by just two votes in a 30-29 Senate vote, reports the Washington Post.
Every year, 65,000 students in the United States graduate from high school but are unlikely to afford higher education because they don't have legal status. Due to lack of financial aid, only 5-10 percent are able to attend college.
“I’m disappointed that the New York State Senate failed to pass the New York State Dream Act and denied thousands of hardworking and high-achieving students equal access to higher education and the opportunity that comes with it,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a statement. “I will continue to work with supporters, stakeholders and members of the Legislature to achieve this dream and build the support to pass this legislation and preserve New York’s legacy as a progressive leader.”
All 28 Republicans voted against the bill, with two vacant seats, and one Democrat joined Republicans in voting against it, according to the Post.
“At a time when higher education funding is so hard to come by for so many people, this was just not an appropriate expenditure of taxpayer money," said Sen. Ted O’Brien, the Democrat who voted against the bill, according to Gannett’s Albany Bureau.
New York already offers in-state tuition to undocumented students, along with 17 other states. California, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington allow them to apply for financial aid, as New York would have done if the measure had passed.