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EDUCRATS DISCRIMINATE AGAINST WAR VET: Texas Marine Denied Tuition Discount Because He Lived Too Long “Out of State”… in Iraq

by Richard Poe
Thursday, August 18, 2005

2:07 pm Eastern Time
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20 Comments

“It’s really your military service that’s holding you back,” explained the Austin Community College admissions officer to decorated Marine and Iraq war vet Carl Basham. Because Basham served in Iraq, he cannot receive a tuition discount available to Texas residents, according to WorldNetDaily. (hat tip, Sharikov)

The 27-year-old Basham was born and bred in Texas. He holds a Texas drivers’ licence and registered to vote in Travis County, Texas in 1998. However, by enlisting in the Marines and serving two 7-month tours in Iraq, Basham lost his Texas residency status, as determined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Consequently, he is no longer entitled to the in-state tuition discount granted to every Texas resident. Instead of paying $500 per semester, Basham will have to cough up the $2,600 per semester required of out-of-staters, in order to get the degree he seeks in emergency medical care.

“They told me that I have to physically live in the state of Texas for at least a year,” Basham told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It kind of hurts.”

Basham served as a driver and auto mechanic in Iraq, receiving a number of decorations for his service, including a Combat Action Ribbon and a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He was discharged honorably from the Marines on January 31.

“I think we need to look into it further,” State Representative Suzanna Hupp, R-Lampasas, told the Star-Telegram.” It doesn’t make sense that people who have bullets flying over their head aren’t treated properly when they get back.”

Indeed.

by Richard Poe
August 18, 2005 02:07 PM ET

Cross-posted from MoonbatCentral.com 08.18.05

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20 Responses to “EDUCRATS DISCRIMINATE AGAINST WAR VET: Texas Marine Denied Tuition Discount Because He Lived Too Long “Out of State”… in Iraq”

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  1. RightWinger says:

    I read this earlier today on a link from Drudge Report. How backward and asinine are people to allow this kind of sickening behavior to continue. This just shows that the war in Iraq is similar to Vietnam in at least one way: the veterans are treated like scum by the left when they return home.

  2. Marimba Man says:

    See what you get for fighting FOR your country and for the freedom of others? Now, try fighting AGAINST your country at the Crawford Peace and Justice Center and you will recieve free tuition for life.

  3. krnhwll says:

    It might be that because Texas allows for “undocumented” (illegal) students to attend college off the backs of legal residents/taxpayers they had to set some standards on the amuont of time one lives in Texas. We really couldn’t have people actually living in Mexico and just coming to Texas for the education, right?

    Of course, the ONLY reason illegal aliens come here is to work, never to receive an unearned benefit (i.e., free eduction K-12 (Texas schools are funded by property taxes), reduced college tuition for those living and working legally in the state – OK residents are charged out-of-state tuition – legal or illegal). Who I am to question this insanity – I’m just a taxpayer.

  4. XTeacher says:

    This is truly a sickening development. I think of all of the “trust fund hippy” types who are handed college educations on silver platters by their wealthy relatives. These are the folks who show their appreciation for our free and wealthy society by wearing Che Guevara shirts and spewing Chomsky-ite bile at demonstrations.

    Now I think of Basham and his efforts to further serve his country in the field of emergency medical care being denied affordable tuition. How’s that for “social justice?” I was under the (obviously mistaken) belief that military personnel retain their state residencies while serving.

    However, I’m curious as to whether or not this decision is based on an anti-military bias or merely on bureaucratic stupidity (a redundant term, I know). As a former community college and high school teacher, I am all too aware of the inflexibility of our educrats in the face of policy. Policy, after all, is what protects Admin from actually using judgement and making decisions. I have a feeling, though, that Basham’s status as a veteran is keeping Admin from granting an exception to the rule.

  5. Mark says:

    Anti-military bias and bureaucratic stupidity, both derive from the left-wing liberal party.

    They all go hand, in hand, in hand!

    They always have.

    They always will.

  6. Madzionist says:

    I think the fools who are holding it against a soldier for serving his country should be sent to Iraq themselves. What the hell is going on in Texas? A communist rally in Crawford and now this? Damn, it’s time for some cattlemen with steel tipped boots to go kick some liberal ass over there.

  7. J. Bargholz says:

    If Mr Basham were still a member of the Marine Corps, his JAG representative would take care of this in short order. He’ll probably be allowed to attend college as a resident eventually. He already has a State Representative on his side. In the meantime, he’s being forced to cool his heels at no small amount of personal expense.

    This travesty was deliberate on the part of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. They could have made the correct determination but they chose to make this one. It’s perfectly obvious what their motivation was. They’re hiding behind red tape to justify their actions. Truly despicable.

    Higher education these days has turned into an entitlement playground for so called educators. Educators that dont toe the line face censure or job termination. Education boards have turned their jurisdictions into fiefdoms, while their loyal apparatchiks are rewarded with tenure and funds to play with. That includes tax dollars.

    Higher education has become an empire within our borders and it’s hostile to our way of life.

  8. kyle says:

    MADZIONIST: What’s going on in Texas?

    Well, Texas is probably the most conservative state, but it’s a big state and, as such, some parts (Austin) are waay liberal.

  9. HeHateMe says:

    J. Bargholz,

    I am still waiting for your reply to my post on the “The Unbearable Lameness of Being Belefonte” message board.

  10. Rightminded says:

    “It doesn’t make sense that people who have bullets flying over their head aren’t treated properly when they get back.”

    It doesn’t make sense if they’re not treated specially!

  11. navyvet02 says:

    I see no discrimination here. My case: I was born in IL and lived there for the first 27 years of my life. I still consider myself a native of that state. As I was working in the area, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy while in Milwaukee, WI, shortly after the start of Desert Storm in ’91. For DoD payroll purposes, I claimed IL as my state of residence because my family lived there. Because my HOME OF RECORD was WI (repeat: HOME OF RECORD, where I enlisted), I am not eligible for ANY IL-exclusive veteran’s benefits, including the tuition-free college education offered eligible IL vets. The law is the law and tax-payer supported colleges and universities can’t pick and choose which residency laws with which they’ll comply. I’m not complaining.

    Was this Marine smart enough to pay into the GI Bill? I did. $1200 in, and up to $1k+/month tax-free out while actively in school for up to ten years? Sweet! There’s his ticket to an education, and better than any resident discount for tuition. I also understand the school has offered this vet some financial aid.

    If I get turned down for some benefit because I’m simply not eligible, I wouldn’t consider it discrimination, and, I’d be highly embarassed if anyone made a media circus out of the incident on my behalf. That’s just not right.

  12. Richard Poe says:

    navyvet02 writes: “I see no discrimination here. … The law is the law and taxpayer supported colleges and universities can’t pick and choose which residency laws with which they’ll comply.”

    Dear navyvet02:

    I respect your self-reliant attitude regarding in-state tuition benefits. However, as a point of fact, it is simply not true that government agencies are bound to observe the law under any and all circumstances. They routinely pick and choose which laws to observe and which laws to break, just as police and prosecutors pick and choose which laws to enforce.

    Consider the case of Herndon, VA which I blogged above – a town government which set up a taxpayer-funded employment agency for illegal aliens, in blatant defiance of federal immigration law. If anything is done to correct this situation, it will come about through grassroots public pressure, not through any natural inclination on the part of Herndon’s public servants to obey the law.

    Back in 1978, I did a summer session at the State University of Leningrad in the Soviet Union. The respect shown to World War II veterans in the Brezhnev-era USSR was extraordinary. Coming from a post-Vietnam USA where respect for the military was at a low ebb, I was impressed by the fact that many stores and cafeterias in Leningrad bore prominent signs instructing customers to allow veterans of the “Great Patriotic War” to go to the head of the line. The veterans were easily recognizable, as they customarily wore their medals and ribbons at all times.

    Going to the head of the line is an important privilege in Communist societies, where everyone has to stand in long lines for just about everything.

    Now, you may say that it is undignified for this Texas Marine Carl Basham to make a “media circus” out of his predicament, and you may castigate him for not being “smart” enough to take advantage of the GI Bill, but, in my view, he should not be required to rely on his wits to get the benefits he needs.

    Every possible benefit should be given to him without asking, in gratitude for his service.

    The Red Army veterans of the USSR did not enter public cafeterias demanding the right to barge to the head of the line. That would have been beneath their dignity. But they didn’t have to demand this simple courtesy. It was accorded to them freely by a grateful citizenry. People knew what was right, and did it gladly.

    The Texas educrats should do the same. Carl Basham should not have to beg and plead for his benefits.

  13. Richard Poe says:

    A Message from the President of Austin Community College (ACC):

    “As a taxpayer-funded college, ACC is not able to pick the laws with which it complies.”

    A Message from commentator navyvet02:

    “[T]axpayer supported colleges and universities can’t pick and choose which residency laws with which they’ll comply.”

    Uh, navyvet02, you don’t by any chance work for ACC’s public relations office, do you? If not, you should apply for a job there. You’ve certainly got their talking points down pat.

    (gaemes, thanks for the link.)

  14. XTeacher says:

    So bureaucratic stupidity it is. I’m wondering, though, which state Basham chose for his home of record. I knew a lot of military personnel who chose Florida b/c of taxes. In which case, Basham has not paid income tax in Texas for some time.

    I agree with the assertions that vets like Basham should reap more benefits than they do once they return to civilian life. However, we all need to consider why state residents receive reduced tuition to colleges. This is not an entitlement — it is based on the fact that state residents and their families have already paid out the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition in the form of taxes. Politics aside, the community college is following the rules, then, and attempting to protect the taxpayers of Texas.

    This all goes back to problems within bureaucracy. I doubt that there are any officials at the community college who have the authority to circumvent the rules. If they attempted to do so, their jobs would be in jeopardy. I have faith, though, that the good people of Texas and their elected representatives will clear this up and grant an exception. We all need to keep hammering until they do.

  15. gaemes says:

    You’re welcome. I got to thinking about what the President of ACC said about this Vet changing his residency to another state and then enlisting in that state. From a recuiter’s standpoint, losing credit for an enlistment means a lot. He might have had him change residency just to make the sale (so to speak). But if he retained Texas as his Home of Record (HOR), then he should still be considered a resident of Texas. That would be my argument.

  16. Richard Poe says:

    XTeacher writes: “Politics aside, the community college is following the rules, then, and attempting to protect the taxpayers of Texas.”

    The taxpayers of Texas would be better served if Texas bureaucrats adopted a tougher stance toward illegal aliens and a more lenient stance toward their own native sons, especially those who have served in the U.S. military.

    XTeacher also writes: “I doubt that there are any officials at the community college who have the authority to circumvent the rules. If they attempted to do so, their jobs would be in jeopardy.”

    When bureaucrats fear for their jobs, it is because their superiors have promulgated a policy which makes them fearful.

    Bureaucrats in most states do not evince any particular fear for their jobs when they violate or ignore immigration laws. They know, from experience, that immigration laws are not enforced. By contrast, in the Carl Basham case, it seems clear that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has, either implicitly or explicitly, put forth a “no-special-treatment-for-war-veterans” policy and the bureaucracy has responded accordingly.

    P.S. In my view, state citizenship should be a permanent and irrevocable birthright, just like national citizenship.

  17. Richard Poe says:

    J. Bargholz writes: “This travesty was deliberate on the part of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. They could have made the correct determination but they chose to make this one.”

    As usual, Mr. Bargholz, you have laid your ax to the root.

  18. sgthartman says:

    I went to Acc. It’s very liberal at the school. Austin itself is pretty much the same as Cali…but go 20 miles outside of the metroplex and it’s not even close to being liberal. Perhaps because so many of the people are down-to-earth, simple folk who don’t take #%$Q3 from anyone.

  19. navyvet02 says:

    No, Mr. Poe, I don’t work for ACC. I’ll assume you do know that. Was the baiting necessary?

    I read snippets of ACC’s press release in an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    Good news! Our Marine came up with the right paperwork to prove his residency for in-state tuition at ACC. That’s all it takes. Details here:

    http://chronicle.com/daily/2005/08/2005082201n.htm

    I’m all for states’ rights. Some are much kinder to veterans than others. Push to make the state change vets’ benefits rules. Colleges and universities will follow.



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