by Keith T. Barber and Jordan Green

Folwell supports bill that would bar undocumented students from community colleges

NC House Speaker Pro Tem Dale Folwell (R-Forsyth) is co-sponsoring a bill that would bar undocumented students from attending the state’s community colleges and state-supported universities. The bill was referred to the Education Committee on Jan. 31. Gary Green, president of Forsyth Tech, said he supports the current law that allows undocumented students to attend community colleges but stipulates they must pay out-ofstate tuition rates. In 2009, the NC State Community College Board decided to admit undocumented students, reversing its 2008 decision to ban undocumented students from the nation’s third-largest community college system.

“We believe that young people who have grown up in our community and have attended North Carolina high schools should have the opportunity to continue their education,” Green said.

Folwell said the reason for the measure is restoring people’s faith in government.

“Every part of public education in North Carolina is facing draconian cuts and the last thing we need is for our resources to be spread among more and more people especially those who are illegal,” Folwell said.

If signed into law, House Bill 11 is unlikely to have a significant impact on Forsyth Tech, Green said.

“We have a very limited number who, because of the out-of-state tuition provision, are able to attend the college,” he said. “We have been increasing in enrollment due in part to the economy. We are not aggressively recruiting undocumented students at all. We are here and available under the policy but we are not aggressively recruiting undocumented students.”

Folwell said Forsyth Tech and other community colleges need to focus more on verifying a potential student’s residency status before granting admission. “Currently, there are no consequences for lying about your residency,” Folwell said. “We are perversely rewarding people to not tell the truth and we don’t do anything about it if they don’t — that’s what is such an irritant.” — KTB

Greensboro receives grant for lead paint remediation

The city of Greensboro has received a $3.1 million grant from the US Department of Housing & Urban Development for testing and remediation of lead-based paint hazards in low-income housing and rental units. The grant was presented during a ceremony at the Housing Summit on Feb. 16 where staff of the Greensboro Housing Coalition, city staff and other leaders heard about a community revitalization model in Atlanta that might be attempted along the South English Street corridor in Greensboro. — JG