Sen. Don Barrington has asked Senate staff to examine possible legislative and/or administrative solutions that would allow college and university students displaced by Katrina to relocate to Oklahoma schools.
“The short-term and long-term impact of Katrina is almost unimaginable. Many people may not realize that several major universities have been virtually destroyed. It may be years before they can be totally rebuilt, but their students can’t wait that long,” said Barrington, R-Lawton.
Barrington said he’d like to explore the possibility of offering in-state tuition rates as well as honoring scholarships or grants many students had been using to attend college.
“I understand this is something some college presidents in the state are already looking into. I just want to make sure that if there is anything the legislature can do to help, we’re ready to do it,” Barrington said.
In addition, the lawmaker noted that it was likely Oklahomans studying out of state were among those impacted by the hurricane.
“I’m sure there are people here in Oklahoma who have children or grandchildren who were attending college in Louisiana. We need to do everything we can to help ensure students displaced by the storm can continue their educations,” Barrington said. “This isn’t just Louisiana’s problem or Mississippi’s problem—this is a national problem and all of us need to do everything we can to help.”