The Adelante Education Coalition calls upon our elected officials to support educational access for Latinos across North Carolina. As our fastest growing immigrant population, Latinos play a key role in our state’s future. All North Carolina residents benefit from a fully educated population.
Adelante calls on our state legislators to support education efforts for Latino students at all levels. We ask for easy access to high-quality pre-Kindergarten programs. We ask for equitable and effective K-12 schools. And we ask for all students to have affordable access to higher education.
Under current law, the largest impediment to fully educating our Latino population are barriers to higher education. We call on the North Carolina General Assembly to support open-door admission access to our state’s institutions of higher education, so that the children of undocumented immigrants can continue their education as part of their path to becoming lifelong North Carolina residents. We also call on the General Assembly to make higher education affordable by allowing qualified undocumented students to attend UNC and Community College system schools by paying in-state tuition.
We believe that open door admission policies and an in-state tuition policy have numerous benefits for our state. These include:
Enabling all students to attend college will strengthen our future tax base.
Enabling immigrant students to attend NC colleges and universities would give an opportunity to young people who have grown up in North Carolina, and been educated in NC public schools to continue their education while also allowing our state to have access to the long-term economic benefits that these students can provide as a highly educated and bilingual workforce. This is about investing in the future of NC and the people who live, work and raise families here. Immigrant families are pulling more than their own weight when it comes to the taxes they pay, the contribution they are making to our growing economy, and what they bring to a diverse state like North Carolina. This is not about special rights; this is about not making the self-defeating mistake of cutting off the achievement and ability to succeed of our neighbors.
This is a workforce development issue.
North Carolina’s state and local governments, businesses, and industry are currently recruiting college graduates from outside the state, as well as outside the US, to fill shortages in the fields of business, education, and health services. A number of immigrant students who will benefit from higher education have the potential to satisfy many of these essential job needs in NC. Immigrants are here, paying taxes, holding jobs, raising families, and most will be here for the rest of their lives. While it is good for immigrants to get an education, it is even more important for all of us in North Carolina that they move up the economic ladder and become self-sufficient engines of the NC economy. Access to our state’s colleges will increase the state’s collective productivity and economic growth by preparing an educated workforce.
These are qualified North Carolina students.
According to the law, any student in North Carolina is entitled to a public school education until the 12th grade, meaning that our state has already invested significantly in their education. These are high school students who have attended elementary and secondary schools in this state for most of their lives are likely to remain in the state and are high achieving and highly motivated. By allowing them to pursue higher education, the state can benefit from students who are bilingual and bicultural, and able to contribute to the state’s collective productivity and economic growth.