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US Senate clears hurdle for funding historically black colleges
JCSU among schools to benefit from FUTURE Act
 
Published Tuesday, December 10, 2019 8:20 am
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

PHOTO | TROY HULL
The U.S. Senate passed the FUTURE ACT last week, which would permanently fund historically black colleges like Johnson C. Smith University and other minority-serving institutions. Under the FUTURE ACT, JCSU, which enrolls nearly 1,600 students, would receive $700,000 annually.

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A political breakthrough to permanently fund historically black colleges will benefit Johnson C. Smith University.


The U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education Act, or FUTURE Act, which would appropriate $255 million annually to HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions. The bill now heads to the House for another vote, according to Senate Education Committee Chair Lamar Alexander, whose panel approved the legislation.


JCSU, which enrolls about 1,600 students, would get $700,000 in FUTURE Act appropriations.

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“I am pleased with the actions taken by the Senate in passing the elements of the FUTURE Act that will fund Minority Serving Institutions, including HBCUs,” JCSU President Clay Armbrister said in a statement. “These actions will permit Johnson C. Smith University to continue to fund critical programs, retain expert faculty and staff, and make improvements to our campus that will ensure our students receive the quality education we are committed to providing them.”

Original FUTURE Act funding ran out on Oct. 1, in part because Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, wanted changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA program by streamlining the repayment process.

“It’s hard to think of a piece of legislation that would have more of a lasting impact on minority students and their families than this bill,” Alexander said in a statement. “First, it provides permanent funding for HBCUs and other Minority Serving Institutions attended by over 2 million minority students. Second, it takes a big first step in simplifying the FAFSA for 20 million American families, including 8 million minority students, and eliminating the bureaucratic nightmare created by requiring students to give the federal government the same information twice.”

The Senate bill would eliminate as many as 22 questions on the application that requires students to verify IRS documentation with the Department of Education in order for financial aid to be released.

Last month, 38 senators had sent an open letter urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. to allow immediate consideration of the legislation, noting the funding "is a lifeline for these institutions to strengthen their academic, administrative, and fiscal capacities."

Alexander's website indicates the bill funds itself by saving taxpayers $2.8 billion over 10 years by streamlining the income recertification process, according to the Congressional Budget Office. There are an estimated 7.7 million federal student loan borrowers.

Comments

Why is it you Black business, College and political leaders are so grateful to accept pittance from these politicains? What will 700,000 do for a college with 1,600 students, when the black colleges have been underfunded over all these years. 225 millions for all those black colleges. What will that do? Keep them all the time begging for more and not being able to educate black kids at same level as white kids. Do you think they give white colleges pittance to educate white kids?
Posted on December 10, 2019
 

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