MIAMI

Florida Undocumented Immigrant Tuition Ruling Won't Be Appealed: State Education Board

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2011 photo, college student Jasmine Oliver, of Warwick, R.I., top left, and Javier Gonzalez, of Pawt
FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2011 photo, college student Jasmine Oliver, of Warwick, R.I., top left, and Javier Gonzalez, of Pawtucket, R.I., top right, display a banner and shout their support for allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates while attending public colleges in the state, during a Board of Governors of Higher Education meeting on the campus of the Community College of Rhode Island, in Warwick, R.I. But research varies on the effects of resident tuition rates for illegal immigrants, including on enrollment, and students may still face a tough road even if they graduate with a college degree: Without passage of the DREAM Act or other federal immigration reform, illegal immigrant students have no pathway to legal status, and it remains illegal for employers to hire them. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

State education leaders decided against appealing a judge's ruling that the children of Florida's undocumented immigrants cannot be charged higher tuition rates than the children of residents.

The Associated Press reports members of the Florida Board of Education in Boca Raton Tuesday voted unanimously against appealing the decision, which ruled differing tuition rates was unconstitutional.

During the court case brought before U.S. District Court judge K. Michael Moore in Miami in September, lawyers argued charging college students out-of-state tuition because of their parents' lack of legal documentation was a violation of the "equal protection" clause of the Constitution's 14th Amendment.

Moore sided with the attorneys, declaring in the final written judgment that "state regulations deny a benefit and create unique obstacles to attain public post-secondary public education for U.S. citizen children who would otherwise qualify for in-state tuition."

The Florida Board of Governors is expected to follow suit and approve the board's recommendation later in the week, according to The Miami Herald. A tuition break for such students will begin in the spring 2013 term.

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