Taking steps in the right direction

Published 8:30 pm Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Alabama Board of Education is taking a stand against illegal immigration by passing a new policy denying illegal immigrants admission to Alabama’s two-year colleges. We agree with this decision.

The policy was passed on a 4-0 vote Thursday with one member abstaining. Three others were absent, as was Gov. Bob Riley, the board’s president. The policy will take effect next spring.

The policy was sought by Chancellor Bradley Byrne, who said he did not think it would affect many would-be students. He sought the change because he said it did not make sense to spend taxpayer money educating people who would be unable to obtain legal employment.

We concur. It doesn’t make sense to spend money on educating illegal immigrants when our own legal residents are spending and borrowing money to get their college degrees.

Many junior colleges like Jefferson State Community College have an open door policy, and some illegal immigrants might slip through the cracks. This rule closes up that possible loophole.

If we spend money on illegal immigrants, then our public schools will have to continue to increase the cost of tuition and other costs so that we can make up the difference. That makes it increasingly difficult for students to continue their education past high school.

It’s even getting expensive for students to attend regular school. The days are gone of getting a free education. Every elementary and high school is requiring “donations,” which are the same as fees. It now costs several hundred dollars just for students to complete their senior year of high school.

Money is tight in this year’s education budget. Proration is likely going to happen. Public schools from the elementary grade levels to four-year colleges have to find ways to cut costs.

If you have just enough money to keep the status quo, then there is no extra money just to spend on illegal immigrants in junior colleges.