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Making all Colorado high school graduates pay in-state tuition rates will expedite our economic recovery.

State Senate Bill 11-126, known as Colorado ASSET (Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow), would provide unsubsidized tuition for undocumented students who attend a Colorado high school for a minimum of three years, graduate or obtain a GED, and are admitted to a Colorado institution of higher education within 12 months of completing their secondary education.

No state funds would go toward the tuition of these students, no College Opportunity Fund dollars are allocated with this bill, and undocumented students would not be eligible for financial aid.



We have already made significant investments in these young people’s K-12 education. Many students are already working their way through the immigration system, and the remaining students will be required to seek legal status.

Colorado’s colleges and universities are facing substantial budget cuts, and this bill will create revenue for Colorado’s institutions of higher education. According to the ASSET bill’s fiscal note, approximately 737 students will be eligible for the new tuition classification as a result of this bill; however, not all of these students will attend an institution of higher education this year.



If 400 undocumented students were to access in-state tuition, revenue at community colleges and 4-year institutions would increase by $1.1 million and $2.3 million respectively.

Five states that border Colorado (Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Utah and New Mexico), and 11 states in total, already provide access to in-state tuition for undocumented students. Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma provide both tuition equity and state financial aid to undocumented students.

Evidence from Texas, which has had a tuition equity law in place for 10 years, supports the conclusion that providing in-state tuition to all Coloradans will not increase unauthorized immigration. According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, less than 1 percent of Texas college students benefited from Texas’ in-state tuition law in 2009. In-state tuition does not incentivize unauthorized immigration. It incentivizes high school graduation.

Alec Raffin

New Castle

With all due respect to a fellow professional engineer, I am appalled that with respect to fracking in gas drilling that James Kellogg failed to mention the third constituent along with sand and water under high pressure has been, and still can be, a third poisonous and toxic chemical.

The purpose of the toxic chemical is to react with the target hydrocarbons in the shale to increase gas production. The very first such toxic chemical for that purpose was nitrogen tretroxide (patent 3929192 in 1974 by Getty Oil Co.).

Other toxic chemicals are also now in use.

That poison must be stored and transported above ground and then pumped down a mile or so to do its job, and then somehow sealed off so it cannot ever percolate up through geographic faults and fissures to be near people.

The drilling industry likes to say “but it is a small percentage of the drilling fluid.”

That poison will be near people before drilling and possibly later as well.

Is that an acceptable risk to fuel our economy?

Larry Soderberg

Parachute


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