SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL 8011
State of Washington 55th Legislature 1997 Regular Session
By Senators Fraser, Schow, Rasmussen, Franklin, McAuliffe, Prince, Kohl and Jacobsen
Read first time 02/18/97. Referred to Committee on Education.
TO THE HONORABLE WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, International trade is vital to the economy of the state of Washington; and
WHEREAS, The skills children learn in schools today contribute to their ability to take their places in the world of tomorrow; and
WHEREAS, The appreciation and understanding of people from other countries is crucial to creating a climate conducive to world trade; and
WHEREAS, When Washington school children have the opportunity to sit beside students from other nations in their classrooms, they are provided with a rich educational opportunity to get to know and understand people from other cultures; and
WHEREAS, Washington has had a successful, thriving program for students from other countries; and
WHEREAS, In Washington, we respect the balance between state and federal rights and fulfill our promise to our citizens that education is a state responsibility; and
WHEREAS, Governance of education is a state and local issue, not a federal issue; and
WHEREAS, School districts in Washington had the freedom to choose whether or not to accept students from other countries; and
WHEREAS, Federal restrictions on the use of state and local education dollars to educate children from other nations deny citizens in Washington the opportunity to decide how to best enrich the educational experiences of all of our children and deny Washington's children the opportunity to learn from children from other nations; and
WHEREAS, Recent federal changes to immigration laws only permit states to support the educational costs for certain international students sponsored by organizations specifically approved by the federal government; and
WHEREAS, These recent federal changes to immigration laws specifically prohibit states from supporting the educational costs of students sponsored by other programs such as sister city programs or by individual citizens; and
WHEREAS, Recent changes completely prohibit elementary and middle school students from participating in the international student programs; and
WHEREAS, These changes in federal law reduce Washington state's ability to have international students study in Washington and will also reduce the opportunities for Washington's students to study in other countries;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that the Congress permit states to choose whether or not to educate children from other countries who are living within the state and to change the immigration reform law immediately to permit states to make these decisions.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable William J. Clinton, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.
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