On the presidential ballot in November, Maryland voters will decide whether or not to approve the Maryland Dream Act—a measure that would grant qualified undocumented immigrants in-state tuition at Maryland colleges and universities (to qualify they must have attended a Maryland public high school for three years and their parents must pay taxes).
The conventional wisdom regarding the costs of this law is that it would attract more undocumented immigrants to public colleges, and thus, cost the state more money.
But a new study from the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis & Research found that, in the long run, the “net benefits” would outweigh the costs of the program. Here’s how the numbers break down:
-About 185 students each class year will be encouraged to graduate high school because of the Dream Act
-About 435 students each class year will take advantage of the Dream Act to attend college
-Of the students who attend college, 163 are induced by the Dream Act to obtain more college education, while 272 pay less for each year of college with the Dream Act than they would have otherwise, but do not increase their educational attainment.
-Each class year would cost approximately $3.6 million for the Maryland state government.
-Each class year will eventually generate about $66 million for the state from income tax revenues and lower spending on incarceration and other services that decrease as a result of more educated citizens.
The Washington Post points out two major assumptions the study relies on: Every student who obtains a degree from a state college and university under the law will remain in Maryland for the duration of his or her working life; and undocumented immigrants subsequently will be legal residents upon graduation and therefore have the same lifetime earning potential as U.S. citizens.
IN OTHER NEWS:
* Today is the last day to register by mail as a D.C. voter
* Homelessness is up in D.C.
* Former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown is due back in U.S. District Court today
* Report finds that Maryland lost $2 billion in revenue to Charles Town casino
* Clinton Yates on “nouveau Columbusing” and gentrification in D.C.