Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1403
By: Noriega
Higher Education


Although federal courts have ruled that a child's origin or immigration
status should not prevent access to primary and secondary schools, federal
immigration status may prevent some children born outside of the United
States from obtaining a college education at a public institution because
of higher tuition rates charged to nonresidents.  Due to federal
immigration status, many children born outside of the United States who
graduate from Texas high schools are required under current state law to
pay tuition at a Texas public college or university at the higher rate
charged to out of state or international students.  House Bill 1403 removes
federal immigration status as a factor for determining eligibility to pay
in state tuition at Texas public colleges and universities for a student
that graduates from a Texas high school or has attended school and received
a GED, and who meets the minimum residency and academic criteria. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating
Board in SECTION 4 (Section 54.060, Education Code) of this bill. 


House Bill 1403 amends the Education Code to require that an individual be
classified as a Texas resident until the individual establishes a residence
outside this state if the individual resided with the individual's parent,
guardian, or conservator while attending a public or private high school in
this state, graduated from a public or private high school or received the
equivalent of a high school diploma in this state, and resided in this
state for at least one year between the first day the person attended a
public or private high school in this state and the date the person
graduated or received the equivalent of a high school diploma. 
The bill provides that an alien living in this country under an unexpired
visa permitting the person to reside in this country or who has applied to
or has a petition pending with the Immigration and Naturalization Service
to attain lawful status under federal immigration law has the same
privilege of qualifying for resident status for tuition and fee purposes as
a United States citizen.  The bill also entitles a foreign student, without
regard to the individual's immigration status,  to pay tuition at the rate
prescribed for a Texas resident if the individual is a citizen of a nation
situated adjacent to Texas who registers in any general academic teaching
institution, public junior college, or component of the Texas State
Technical College System located either in a county located wholly or
partly within 100 miles of the nation in which the foreign student resides
or in a county having a population of 100,000 or more. 

The bill authorizes the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to adopt
rules governing a pilot project to be established at general academic
teaching institutions and at components of the Texas State Technical
College System in counties that are not otherwise covered by the bill. 


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001.