Baltimore County teacher David Cooper said he was growing uncomfortable talking to his students about college when he knew they didn't all have a fair chance of attending.
Cooper, a seventh grade math teacher at Deer Park Middle School, is one of the speakers at a Saturday Baltimore event defending the Maryland DREAM Act, which would allow certain undocumented immigrants to attend state colleges at in-state tuition rates, ahead of the November ballot. Following the press conference, supportors will canvass Baltimore neighborhoods to discuss the issue.
"I have a hard time as a teacher telling students they have equal rights to college when they don't," he said.
Cooper, whose class theme is Dream Chasers, said there are a good number of students at Deer Park who would be impacted by the DREAM Act, but he hopes students not affected would be moved by empathy for their peers. He said denying students equal opportunities to higher education would cause the state to lose potential talent.
"I want there to be an investment in all my students," he said.
Cooper's purpose in attending the press conference, which is hosted by Baltimore nonprofit The Intersection, is to advocate for the DREAM Act and dispel myths surrounding it.
"It's about fairness," he said.
A recently released poll conducted by Democratic political consultants revealed that the majority of Maryland voters were in favor of the act.
Pollster: Majority of Maryland Voters Support DREAM Act
McDonough Calls for Money to Fight DREAM Act
'DREAMERS Kick Off Tuition Law Fight at UMBC