A happy conclusion

HIGHER EDUCATION: By refusing to hear the challenge to AB 540, the U.S. Supreme Court has made the correct decision.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal last Monday that challenged California Assembly Bill 540, which allows undocumented students to pay resident tuition at in-state colleges. The decision is a welcome conclusion after years of legal challenges, beginning when the original lawsuit was filed in December 2005.

Undocumented students qualifying under AB 540 make up a small population of the University of California student body, estimated by UC President Mark Yudof in a March 8 letter to number between 390 and 488 students. Regardless of legal status, everyone deserves the opportunities this world-class university has to offer if talented enough to earn acceptance.

It would be unwise to deny future leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs the chance to reach their full potential because of their immigration status. Preventing this small but ambitious population of students from having the chance to gain an education would deny the state the future economic benefits stemming from education.

While AB 540 is an essential step toward making concrete, positive change in the undocumented community through education, it also applies to U.S. citizens.

It is imperative for opponents of AB 540 not to politically distort the law, which at its core maintains students’ strong ties to California by requiring students to complete three years at a California high school and either graduate in-state or attain a GED. Undocumented students must also file or plan to file an affidavit expressing intent to apply for legal residency as soon as possible.

Had the Supreme Court overturned AB 540, California would have made higher education even more financially burdensome to undocumented students and in doing so lose out on incalculable future benefits. But at the same time, the university and the state cannot afford to offer in-state tuition to all students regardless of whether or not they meet the law’s criteria.

We are pleased with the decision — the survival of AB 540 is paramount to making education more available to all Californians, and an educated California is a strong California.

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  • Anonymous

    University of California Berkeley Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Faculty, Academic Senate, UCOP stand up for Californians: wage concessions.

    The 10 University of California (UC) campuses, UCOP
    are not untouchable: Californians fund UC. 
    Californians face foreclosure, unemployment, depressed wages, loss of
    retirement, medical, unemployment benefits, higher taxes: UC Board of Regents Regent
    Lansing, President Yudof need to demonstrated leadership by curbing wages,
    benefits. As a Californian, I don’t care what others earn at private, public universities.
    If wages better elsewhere, chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured, non tenured
    faculty, UCOP should apply for the positions. If wages commit employees to UC,
    leave for better paying position. The sky above UC will not fall.  

    Californians suffers from the greatest deficit modern times. UC
    wages, benefits must reflect California’s
    ability to pay, not what others paid elsewhere. Campus chancellors, vice
    chancellors, tenured & non-tenured faculty, UCOP are replaceable by the more

    UC faculty, chancellor, vice chancellor, UCOP wage,
    benefits concessions:

    No furloughs   

    18 percent reduction in UCOP salaries & $50
    million cut.

    18 percent prune of campus chancellors’, vice chancellors’ salaries.

    15 percent trim of tenured faculty salaries, increased teaching load

    10 percent decrease in non-tenured faculty salaries, as well as increase research,
    teaching load

    elimination of all Academic Senate, Academic Council costs, wages.


    bushes bloom after pruning.


    UC Board of Regents Sherry Lansing, President Yudof can bridge
    the public trust gap by offering reassurances that UC salaries reflect depressed
    wages in California.
    The sky will not fall on UC


    Californians are reasonable people. Levy no new taxes until
    an approved balanced budget: let the Governor/Legislature lead – make the
    tough-minded (not cold hearted) decisions of elected leadership. Afterwards
    come to public for continuing, specified


    you for advocating for all Californians, University of California