During 1975, the state of Texas revised its education laws to withhold state funds to local school districts for educating illegal immigrant students. State officials argued that these students could not claim protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision ruled the denial of public education to these students violated the 14th Amendment equal protection clause. This only applied from K-12 in public school districts.
It also ruled that illegal immigrant students are people like everyone else and therefore had protection from discrimination unless there was a substantial state interest could be shown to justify it. The state of Texas failed to show this evidence in this case.
However, a federal law called the Illegal Immigration and Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 has allowed some states to pass laws that deny illegal immigrant students eligibility for in-state tuition, scholarships or enrolled at public colleges and universities.
Recently, a taxpayer from a local school district complained about this issue. I sympathize with this individual’s viewpoint, but a Supreme Court decision is the supreme law of the land and therefore has to be obeyed by all public school districts in this country.
Silvestre Moreno Jr. Mercedes