In an unedited e-mail to this blogger, Delegate Pat McDonugh wanted to set the record straight by providing what he states is credible information concerning the potential cost of the Dream Act.
The e-mail is published in its entirety and not edited.
The Dream Act is currently up for vote after a referendum placed the issue on the ballot.
Here is the e-mai:
Delegate Pat McDonough maintains that the recent study about the Dream Act from UMBC is inaccurate, misleading and a political propaganda piece.
Here are the facts:
1. The study claims that State projection costs for the Dream Act are about $4M. That inaccurate figure was an early estimate provided by the Department of Legislative Services. The Department admitted that the figure was obtained in relationship to one community college. There are 16 community colleges in the State of Maryland.
2. The real cost per student is about $40K. Anyone with a calculator can confirm this number. The in-state subsidy for students at a community college for 2 years is about $8K. Two years with the in-state subsidy at the University of Maryland is $32K. Total cost to the taxpayers, who must replace these revenue losses, is $40K.
3. If 1,000 students enter the system per year, it will cost Maryland taxpayers $40M, annually. Four classes each consisting of 1,000 students for a 4-year period will cost taxpayers $160M, annually.
4. The claim that community colleges have “open enrollment” is misleading. The slots that are made available by the community college system are based on their budget and revenue availability. All of the community colleges in the State of Maryland are presently underfunded. The loss of out-of-state tuition revenue caused by the Dream Act will dramatically impact community college operating revenues. This reduction, without question, will reduce the number of slots available and displace students’ access.
5. You can not manage a higher education system on emotionalism and misplaced compassion. Although the Dream Act is about education, the resources needed are firmly about money. That money we are talking about is a taxpayer subsidy to replace lost funding in order to maintain current operating revenues. The in-state tuition subsidy is a hidden tax increase for Maryland citizens and an unfair displacement of Maryland students.
6. The greatest fallacy of the report is the assumption that people who manage to receive a degree under the in-state tuition program for illegals will somehow be employed and pay higher taxes. The employment of a person who is illegal in the United States is a felony under the current federal Immigration Act. I do not believe that any professional company or organization would risk having their reputation damaged by placing their self in a position to receive a federal indictment.
The so-called Dream Act, or in-state tuition for illegal aliens, has been promoted by its advocates with misinformation that can easily be discredited.
Delegate Pat McDonough