California Governor Jerry Brown won’t touch scholarship funding for illegal immigrant students while he cuts scholarship funding for middle-class U.S. citizens enrolled in higher education institutions, Campus Reform reports.
Awash in another budget deficit expected to hit $2 billion by this summer, Brown decided to trim education expenses — but spending on scholarships for illegals will continue to increase.
The 2017-18 Governor’s Budget detailed Brown’s intention of phasing out the Middle Class Scholarship program, which assists students who come from households with a combined income of $156,000 or less with 40 per cent of their tuition costs.
“Given the state’s overall financial condition, to continue the Administration’s support for long-term stable growth in funding…and to maintain the broad Cal Grant entitlement for the state’s neediest students, the Budget proposes a phase-out of the Middle Class Scholarship Program,” reads the budget.
The demise of the program is expected to achieve savings for the state of approximately $115 million per year by 2021.
But despite looming economic catastrophe, Brown isn’t keen on reducing scholarships for illegals who are routinely rewarded under the DREAM Act.
The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) examined last year’s proposed budget and found that “implementation of the California Dream Act, which beginning in 2013–14 made certain undocumented and nonresident students eligible for state financial aid, accounts for $67 million of the increase in Cal Grant spending,” their report indicated.
Paul Golaszewski, Principal Fiscal & Policy Analyst for the LAO, told Campus Reform that the DREAM Act is going to cost California taxpayers $88.6 million in fiscal year 2017/18.
Many middle-class families are outraged that student illegals are untouched by budget cuts while Brown is disinterested in the financial burdens of middle class families living in highly-taxed California. They say Brown’s plan lacks a basic comprehension of middle-class need.
“I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about this stuff,” Jill Cohen-Sandler, who has a daughter who plans to attend college, said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I’m constantly calculating, how are we going to make this work?”
Rafi Sands, a UCLA student and vice president of Undergraduate Students Association Council, says Brown is fueling anger and confrontation in his state.
“It’s pitting groups of students against each other,” he told Campus Reform. “There’s an idea that middle-class students don’t deserve to be asking for aid and don’t need it, but from what I’ve seen, people could not be more wrong about that.”
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