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Effort to Eliminate In-State Tuition for Undocumented Kansas Students Falters

Photo by Stephen Koranda

There's a push to repeal a program that allows more than 600 undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at Kansas colleges and universities, but a bill aimed at doing that faltered in a House panel. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the bill failed to make it out of the House Education Committee after a debate Thursday.

Currently, some students who are in the country illegally, but have lived in Kansas and attended Kansas schools, are eligible for in-state tuition. The bill in its original form would take that away.

At times, the meeting grew heated. Here’s Democratic Representative Valdenia Winn and Republican Representative John Barker.

“I want to apologize to the students and their parents whose lives are being hijacked by the racist bigots who support this bill,” said Winn.

“Mr. chairman, I object. She's just referred to this committee as racist and bigoted,” said Barker.

Republican Representative Diana Dierks moved to table the bill, meaning they would stop work on it, because she said it wasn’t ready.

“I truly believe if we pass this bill we would regret it,” says Dierks.

The committee agreed, and the bill was set aside.

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