Schools, Citizens, and Illegal Immigrants

Unbeknown to me, if you are a US citizen and come to Utah for high school, you may find yourself charged around $6,000 for tuition as a ‘non-resident’ if you are under guardianship.  This reflects of the increased tuition rate charged by State universities in more than one way, however.  Illegal immigrants are granted the tax-subsidized in-state tuition at our universities while US citizens are not granted the same benefit.  The same applies at high schools where illegal immigrants are provided a fully tax funded education while US citizens in Utah under court appointed guardianship the school district disagrees with will be expected to pay.

Some time ago, a number of Utah citizens found themselves on the receiving end of a law suit from a Salt Lake area school district for not paying tuition for the youth (US citizens) they helped bring into the state despite having guardians for the children.  Ultimately, the suit was dismissed but it ended up costing the individuals about $40,000 in defense expenses.

Apparently, bringing a US citizen into the state with a legal guardian (also a citizen or legal resident) is far worse than paying for the education of an illegal immigrant…and school districts will, apparently, aggressively enforce that view.  I understand that State taxpayers should not be responsible for educating non residents but where do illegal immigrants trump fellow citizens for consideration?  Further, these kids had legal in-state (tax paying), court appointed guardians, why pursue them so aggressively?  I suppose it’s just another case of one-sided “compassion”.

To wit, this disparity has, fortunately, come to the attention of one legislator.  Representative Sandstrom has proposed a bill (HB 355 Legal Guardianship Amendments) to restrict such behavior by school districts.  Consider giving your representative (search) a jingle (801-538-1029) and asking them to support this bill.

Legal Guardianship AmendmentsL


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