Blame, confusion follows collapse of Dream Act and school tax deal

by Jimmy Vielkind

March 27, 2015

Fifty CUNY students who are immigrants from places including Mexico and Ecuador have begun a hunger strike. Several observant Jewish lawmakers from Queens are so flummoxed they’re vowing to vote against the state budget. Another member said he’s dreading morning Mass on Palm Sunday.

The collapse earlier this week of a two-pronged plan to include in the state budget an education tax credit and the Dream Act, which extends tuition assistance programs to undocumented immigrants, has led to finger-pointing and a last-minute scramble for some kind of alternative plan before budget bills are signed on Saturday.

Perhaps the Dream Act would be replaced with a Dream Fund, and the tax credit—which, in the form proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, provides $50 million to offset donations to private and parochial school scholarship funds, and $50 million for donations to public schools—would be applied. Or maybe the scholarships could be paid for with money now dedicated to the Office of New Americans in the Department of State.

To read the rest of this article in Captial New York, click here.