In-state tuition bill is about competitiveness

April 14, 2011

As an educator, I feel concern about the ability of American students to compete on a global scale. The Maryland General Assembly voted to make Maryland the 11th state to provide in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants. With recent news about the United States trailing international leaders in education and in light of President Obama's emphasis on education reform in his State of the Union address, this legislation is one way for us to combat the "brain drain" phenomenon occurring in the United States.

As other nations continue to improve in terms of education, economic and business development, students from other nations who come to the United States to be educated in America's superior university system have been leaving the United States upon completion of their degrees. This is a shift from years past, when the United States attracted top minds from around the world to our universities, and retained them upon completion of their degrees. As the global economy has developed, countries which once fed us their top minds are now attracting those minds back from the United States.

As was stated in the Sun's article by the bill's sponsor, Sen. Victor Ramirez (D-Prince George's County), this legislation in not about immigration, but about providing Maryland with a more educated workforce which will only help to strengthen the United States and allow us to compete in the global economy.

Ben Shifrin, Owings Mills

The writer is head of the Jemicy School.

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