Washington, Sept. 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On Tuesday, Sept. 17, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the “Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education” (FUTURE) Act, H.R. 2486. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), representing publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and UNCF (United Negro College Fund), representing private HBCUs, jointly stand in support of the bill’s passage and encourage every Member in the House and, thereafter, the Senate to vote in favor of the bill to facilitate continued diversification of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions and, thereby, ensure the preservation of our nation’s security and economic growth.
Sponsored by Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) and Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), the FUTURE Act reauthorizes $255 million annually in mandatory funds to help HBCUs as well as other Minority-Serving Institutions of Higher Education (MSIs)–including Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and other MSIs–strengthen their outcomes in the STEM majors, among other disciplines. For example, HBCUs enroll 10% of all African American college students, but now graduate 21% of all African American STEM graduates. That outcome is largely a result of the last 12 years of mandatory funding from Title III of the Higher Education Act (HEA).
“In an era where state support of higher education has been in a rapid decline in many parts of our country, our nation’s publicly-supported HBCUs and PBIs can ill afford to lose the federal funding that is the lifeblood of some of the most impactful programming on our campuses, said Dr. Harry L. Williams, TMCF president and CEO. “The Title III, Part F funding helps open the doors of opportunity, and positively impacts the lives of hundreds of thousands of students each year. Indeed, ultimately, this funding is helping our students – not merely our institutions – not only to survive, but thrive. Therefore, it is imperative that Congress act, with all deliberate speed, to pass the FUTURE Act and help ensure that this materially important, mandatory funding is not lost to history. TMCF urges Congress to help sustain the future for our HBCUs and PBIs by acting in a bipartisan fashion to pass the FUTURE Act.”
“Passing the FUTURE Act is the number-one priority for HBCUs right now, and it is UNCF’s top initiative,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF. “UNCF has been so laser-focused this year on renewing these impactful mandatory funds that we started a new campaign, #ProtectingOurFUTURE, and launched a new digital platform to influence Capitol Hill: UNCF.org/protectingourfuture. This effort has resulted in about 20,000 letters and phone calls being sent or made to Congress this month alone so far. We want to make sure that the gains HBCUs and MSIs have made in diversifying the STEM majors and professions are not dealt a deathblow. HBCUs will watch and monitor Tuesday’s vote. Every House member in the 20 states where there is an HBCU should know we are noting your votes and will let the administrators and students on your campuses know if you stood with our institutions, just as we did earlier this year with our HBCU Congressional Honor Roll. UNCF urges the House, and then the Senate, to pass the FUTURE Act immediately.”
The mandatory funding authorized by Title III, Part F of the HEA is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2019, unless Congress moves swiftly to pass the FUTURE Act. This critical funding has been administered by the Department of Education since 2008, and the FUTURE Act is budget neutral.
Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions, enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending black colleges and universities. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the K-12 and higher education space. The organization is also the source of top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.
TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit: www.tmcf.org.
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org, or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.