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The Voice of the Black Community

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US House OKs $255M in funding for minority-serving institutions
Bill includes $85M for historically black colleges
 
Published Thursday, September 19, 2019 9:20 pm
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would authorize $255 million for colleges that serve predominantly student bodies of color, including $85 million for historically black campuses. The FUTURE Act was co-introduced by Reps. Alma Adams, a Charlotte Democrat, and Mark Walker, a Greensboro Republican.

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The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bipartisan bill that would pump $255 million into colleges that serve predominantly black, Latino and indigenous student bodies.


The Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education, or FUTURE Act was co-introduced by U.S. Reps. Alma S. Adams, a Charlotte Democrat and Mark Walker, a Greensboro Republican, passed the House Tuesday with broad bipartisan support. 

The FUTURE Act reauthorizes $255 million in funding for minority serving institutions, or MSIs for two years, including $85 million for historically black colleges. Money would also go to tribal colleges and Hispanic serving institutions to boost STEM programs, infrastructure and technology to prepare students for the workforce. Funding is set to expire on Sept. 31 and the Senate must approve legislation and President Donald Trump must sign off.

“HBCUs and other minority serving institutions fulfill a critical role ensuring that low-income, first generation college students are not left behind,” said Adams, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities Caucus and whose district includes historically-black Johnson C. Smith University. …“Now that the House has acted, I urge my Senate colleagues to pass this bill to ensure that HBCUs and other minority serving institutions can continue to provide pathways of opportunity to the nearly six million students they serve.”

North Carolina has 10 historically black colleges.

U.S. Sen. Kamala D. Harris, a Democratic presidential contender and graduate of historically black Howard University, applauded the House vote. She is a co-sponsor of the Senate version of the bill.

“As the proud graduate of an HBCU, I know firsthand the value these institutions add to the higher education landscape. An investment in HBCUs means an investment in our economy, young people, and the future. I applaud the House of Representatives for making it a priority to provide funding and resources to support the next wave of HBCU leaders,” she said in a statement. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate to quickly pass this legislation. Any delay would be a disservice not only to HBCUs around the country, but to our American values of inclusivity and innovation.”

Said Walker, whose wife Kelly earned two degrees from historically black Winston-Salem State University: “We made a promise to serve all of our North Carolina communities and open doors of hope and opportunity. Few institutions assist more in those efforts than the HBCUs, like North Carolina A&T State University, that educate and equip hundreds of thousands of students across the country. With the successful passage of the FUTURE Act, we are keeping that promise, but more importantly, we are creating a more promising future for our next generation of job-creators, innovators and leaders.”

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the bill is important to colleges that serve student bodies of color.


“We know that HBCUs play a critical role in helping black students gain access to a quality higher education,” she said. “Now, the CBC is urging the Senate to pass the FUTURE Act and join the House as we continue to provide pathways of opportunity to all of the millions of students they serve.”

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